Police officers

Time series: INT_2_EN.xls
International comparisons - Data from Eurostat statistics database
Contact organisation

National Statistical Institute

Contact organisation unit

„Health Care and Justice Statistics“ Department

Contact name

Evelin Jordanova

Contact person function

Head of department

Contact mail address

2, P. Volov Str.; 1038 Sofia, Bulgaria

Contact email address

[email protected]

Contact phone number

+359 2 9857 459

Contact fax number
Metadata update
Metadata last certified02 April 2019
Metadata last posted02 April 2019
Metadata last update02 April 2019
Statistical presentation
Data description

Data on crimes recorded by the police -  homicide,  theft , rape, the number of police officers and the prison population are available at country level for European Union Member States and other countries.

Data for the United Kingdom (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) appears separately owing to the existence of three separate jurisdictions.

The data come from official sources in the countries such as the National Statistics Office, the National Prison Administration, the Ministries of the Interior or Justice and the Police.

Calendar year or national financial year data are provided in absolute numbers. No statistical adjustments are carried out.

Classification system

Figures are requested on the basis of a standard definitions.


Sector coverage

Not applicable.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Contact persons in each country are asked to adhere to a standard definition (for offences, police officers and the prison population) as far as possible and to provide details of any divergence. Details of any divergence from the standard definition are described in Annex An "Offence definitions & explanatory notes" at the bottom of this page. The standard definitions for CRIME, POLICE OFFICERS and PRISON POPULATION are: CRIMES RECORDED BY THE POLICE Homicide Definition: This is defined as intentional killing of a person, including murder, manslaughter, euthanasia and infanticide. Bulgarian data cover intentional homicide only. Causing death by dangerous driving is excluded, as are abortion and help with suicide. Attempted (uncompleted) homicide is also excluded. The counting unit for homicide is normally the victim (rather than the case). POLICE OFFICERS Number of police officers Definition: In most cases these figures include all ranks of police officers including criminal police, traffic police, border police, gendarmerie, uniformed police, city guard, and municipal police. They exclude civilian staff, customs officers, tax police, military police, secret service police, part-time officers, special duty police reserves, cadets, and court police. PRISON POPULATION Prison population Definition: Total number of adult and juvenile prisoners (including pre-trial detainees) at 1 September (or nearest available date). Including offenders held in Prison Administration facilities, other facilities, juvenile offenders' institutions, drug addicts' institutions and psychiatric or other hospitals. Excluding non-criminal prisoners held for administrative purposes (for example, people held pending investigation into their immigration status).

Statistical unit

Crime - the offence recorded by the police.

Police officer - the full-time equivalent police officer.

Prison population - the prisoner.

Statistical population

Crime - offences recorded by the police in the country according to national statistical rules.

Police officer - police personnel excluding civilians.

Prison population - all prisoners including pre-trial detainees but excluding those held for administrative reasons.

Reference area
  • European Union Member States;
  • other countries.
Time coverage

2010 - 2016

Base period

Not applicable.

Unit of measure

Number. See above, 3.5 Statistical units.

Reference period

Crime - the standard reference period is the calendar year.

Police officers - any available date.

Prison population - the standard reference date is 1 September.

Institutional mandate
Legal acts and other agreementsCountries submit data and metadata to Eurostat on the basis of a mandate to develop crime statistics established through: • The 2004 Hague Programme November: Strengthening freedom, justice and security in the European Union; • The 2009 Stockholm Programme: An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens; • The Communication of the Commission of 7 August 2006, „Developing a comprehensive and coherent EU strategy to measure crime and criminal justice; • EU Action Plan; • List of variables adopted by The Directors of Social Statistics Council on its meetings and list of contact persons by countries who were given the responsibility of providing Eurostat with the information; • Eurostat Task Force groups meetings decisions from regularly conducted meetings; • Eurostat Working Group on crime statistics decisions – from their annually meetings.
Data sharing

Not aplicable.

Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable.

Release policy
Release calendar

Not applicable.

Release calendar access

Not applicable.

User access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

Frequency of dissemination


Accessibility and clarity
News release

News releases on-line.

On-line database



Micro-data access

Not applicable.


On the Eurostat website - the analysis files.

Documentation on methodology

The data come from official sources in the countries such as the National Statistics Office, the Ministries of the Interior or Justice and the Police. All countries have procedures for the collection of these statistics but there are many differences between the systems used  by different countries.

Quality control of the data in Eurostat is performed in accordance with the European Statistics Code of Practice promulgated in the Commission Recommendation of 25 May 2005.

Quality documentation

Not applicable.

Quality management
Quality assurance

Data are provideed to Eurostat by a network of of contact persons nominated by the national statistics offices of the countries. The contact persons are responsible for collating the data from various sources and conducting some basic checks.

Eurostat then performs several validations (see 20.4 below). In addition, detailed quality reviews for each category and also for time series are ongoing in order to improve the overall quality of the database.

Quality assessment

In the context of Eurostat's „Quality assurance framework“, an assessment will be carried out when required.

User needs

The need to provide information on the development of crime in the European Union was recognised in the Hague Programme adopted by the European Council in 2004. A more comparable system of crime and criminal justice statistics is being developed, as outlined in the Commission communication Developing a comprehensive and coherent EU strategy to measure crime and criminal justice: an EU Action Plan 2006-2010.

User satisfaction

Evaluation of the implementation of the "EU Action Plan " (see 13.1 above) to be carried out.


The data collection will be extended in the future, in line with policy requirements.

Accuracy and reliability
Overall accuracy

Not applicable.

Sampling error

Not applicable.

Non-sampling error

Not applicable.

Timeliness and punctuality

Eurostat requests data for the year N to be delivered at N + approximately 1 year.


Nearly all of the European Union Member States, the EFTA countries, EU Candidate countries are able to meet the request for data to be provided at N + 1 year; other countries deliver at their earliest convenience.

Coherence and comparability
Comparability - geographical

It is not advisable to make comparisons between countries of crime levels based on the absolute figures since the figures may be affected by many factors, including:

  • different legal and criminal justice systems;
  • rates at which crimes are reported to the police and recorded by them;
  • differences in the point at which crime is measured (for example, report to the police, identification of suspect, etc.);
  • differences in the rules by which multiple offences are counted;
  • differences in the list of offences that are included in the overall crime figures.

Figures for the prison population may also be affected by many factors, including:

  • number of cases dealt with by the courts;
  • the percentage receiving a custodial sentence;
  • the length of the sentences imposed;
  • the size of the population on remand;
  • the date of the survey, especially in those countries where amnesties apply.

For these reasons, direct comparisons of crime levels in different countries should be avoided. As a general rule, comparisons should be based upon trends.

Comparability - over time

See 16.1 above.

Coherence - cross domain

Raw figures are requested on an annual basis for crimes recorded by the police, the number of police officers and the prison population.

Coherence - internal

Not applicable.

Cost and burden

The main burden is on the Member States and the national contact persons who collate the data from various sources.

Data revision
Data revision - policy

Revisions and additions on an annual basis or as required.

Data revision - practice

See 19.1.

Statistical processing
Source data

Eurostat statistics data base. For Bulgaria – source of the data is Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice. Data are collected by the contact persons network.

Frequency of data collection


Data collection

The contact persons provide the data by eDAMIS for transmission to the Eurostat unit responsible for the data collection.

Data validation

Final data provided.

Data compilation

General trends for the EU are estimated by adding up figures for countries which have consistent series, i.e. no "methodological" breaks.


No adjustments are made.



Metadata Structure Definition in SDMX 2.1: ESMS_MSD+BNSI+2.0+SDMX.2.1.xml
Metadata Structure Definition in SDMX 2.0: ESMS_MSD+BNSI+2.0+SDMX.2.0.xml
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