EU-MIDIS Data in Focus Report 6: Minorities as Victims of Crime

This EU-MIDIS Data in focus report 6 presents data on respondents’ experiences of victimisation across five crime types: theft of or from a vehicle; burglary or attempted burglary; theft of personal property not involving force or threat (personal theft); assault or threat; and serious harassment. The European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS) is the first EU-wide survey to ask 23,500 individuals with an ethnic and minority background about their experiences of discrimination and criminal victimisation in everyday life.

The average rate of criminal victimisation for all groups surveyed in EU-MIDIS was 24 %, in other words every fourth person from a minority group said that they had been a victim of crime at least once in the 12 months preceding the survey. More ‘visible’ minority groups – that is, those who look visibly different to the majority population – report, on average, higher levels of victimisation in EU-MIDIS than immigrant or minority groups who look similar to the majority population. These results, however, mask significant differences depending on the EU Member State in which generic respondent groups, such as ‘Roma’ or ‘Sub-Saharan African’, live. On average, 18 % of all Roma and 18 % of all Sub-Saharan African respondents in the survey indicated that in the 12 months prior to the survey  they had experienced at least one ‘in-person crime’ – that is, assault or threat, or serious harassment – which they considered as being ‘racially motivated’ in some way. In comparison, less than 10 % of other groups indicated that they considered they had been a victim of ‘racially motivated’ in-person crime.

The survey asked respondents a series of questions about their experiences of criminal victimisation in relation to the following five crime types:

  • theft of or from a vehicle;
  • burglary or attempted burglary;
  • theft of personal property not involving force or threat;
  • assault or threat;
  • serious harassment.

Given that many crimes are relatively rare events, EU‑MIDIS asked respondents about their experiences of crime in the last five years; this report, however, explores findings from the survey with respect to people’s experiences in the 12 months preceding the survey interview. The analysis of results and recommendations are thus based on more up‑to‑date information.

Follow‑up questions focused on how often interviewees had experienced assaults or threats and serious harassment in the last 12 months. These results showed whether certain groups were more prone to repeat victimisation. The survey questions also asked interviewees whether they considered their experiences of victimisation to be motivated in any way by their ethnic minority or immigrant background.