Country Listing

Austria Table of Contents


Incidence of Crime

The Austrian police recorded 400,000 cases of criminal conduct during 1988; some 79,000 were defined as crimes, an increase of nearly 10 percent over 1987. The number of misdemeanors--321,000--represented an increase of less than 1 percent. By far the largest category of crimes consisted of offenses involving property (74,343). Only 283 crimes against life and limb were recorded, and 1,167 moral offenses of a criminal nature were recorded. Among misdemeanors, offenses against property totaled over 202,000, and offenses against life and limb totaled nearly 80,000. The police reported that 4,963 persons were accused of narcotic offenses and that fifty kilograms of heroin, 215 kilograms of marijuana, and fourteen kilograms of cocaine had been seized. In the battle against the drug trade, Austria maintains contact with drug authorities in the United States and Canada as well as with authorities in other European countries and coordinates its enforcement efforts through the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). There is considerable evidence that international drug dealers are taking advantage of Austria's laws on banking anonymity to launder drug receipts. New restrictions were announced in early 1992 that require the identity of customers for all transactions above S200,000 and for all currencies, not just for dollars as had previously been the case.

Responding to an Interpol questionnaire on the kinds of infractions recorded, Austria reported the following offenses in 1988: homicides, 139; sexual crimes, 2,834, of which 336 were rapes; serious assaults, 120; all categories of theft, 189,794; armed or violent robbery, 2,317; and fraud, 19,904. Of those arrested, 11.0 percent were women, and 4.5 percent were juveniles between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. Noncitizens accounted for 15 to 20 percent of most criminal acts but were responsible for 23.5 percent of armed or violent robberies and 36 percent of counterfeiting cases.

The police reported that nearly 95 percent of crimes and misdemeanors involving threats to life and limb had been successfully resolved. Only 25 percent of thefts of all categories were solved; arrests occurred in 71 percent of sex offenses.

Data as of December 1993