Wednesday, 4 March 2009on
Bucharest's crime rate is rather low in comparison to other East-European capital cities, with the number of total offences declining by 51% between 2000 and 2004. In particular, levels of violent crime remain very low, with 24 murders and 1069 other violent offences taking place in 2007.
Although there have been a number of recent police crackdowns on organised crime gangs, such as the Cămătaru clan, organised crime generally has little impact on public life.
Petty crime, however, is more common, particularly in the form of pickpocketing, which occurs mainly on the city's public transport network. Additionally, confidence tricks are sometimes common, especially in regards to tourists, even though the frequency of these tricks has declined in recent years. Levels of crime are higher in the southern districts of the city, particularly in Ferentari, a socially-disadvantaged area.
Although the presence of street children was a problem in Bucharest in the 1990s, their numbers have declined significantly in recent years, currently lying at or below the average of major European capital cities.
The same is true for beggars and homeless people, many of them from the Roma minority.
However, there are still an estimated 1,000 street children in the city, many of whom engage in petty crime and begging. There has also been speculation that the street children are recruited by professional underground networks for criminal purposes. From 2000 onwards, Bucharest has seen an increase in illegal road races which occur mainly at night in the city's outskirts or on industrial sites.
A significant problem in the city remains institutional corruption, which is seen as the most important justice-and-law related problem in the city.
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