In 2017, a downward trend was observed in reported crime, according to HSE's Demoscope Weekly, citing Rosstat. Last year, 2.16 million crimes were reported, which is 4.7% less than in 2016 and the lowest recorded statistic since 1992.
A downward crime trend has been reported since 2007, after the historical observed maximum of 3.86 million in 2006, which was more than double the 1.8 million reported in 1990 shortly before the collapse of the USSR.
An upsurge in crime was observed between 1990 and the early 2000s. According to the researchers, ‘in addition to socioeconomic upheaval, changes in legislation and law enforcement practices played a major role in shaping crime trends’. Reported crime dynamics can also be affected by the number of people in the demographic group most likely to commit offences (i.e. young men aged 16 to 30). The generation born during the 1980s' baby boom reached young adulthood in the 1990s and early 2000s, and in 1992-1993, crime statistics soared to 2.8 million.
With the enactment of the new Criminal Procedure Code in 2002, crime rates started to decrease, and the downward trend has been steady since 2007.
By 2014, fewer than 2.17 million crimes were reported (Crimea not included in the statistics), the lowest value since 1991.
After an 8.6% increase in 2015, crime statistics went down again.
The lowest point of 2.16 million was observed in 2017.
Crime rates vary vastly across Russian regions: from 279 per 100,000 in the Chechen Republic to 2,663 per 100,000 in the Republic of Tyva in 2017. In half of all Russian regions, crime rates did not exceed 1,395 per 100,000, and in 12 regions they were below 1,000 per 100,000. In addition to Chechnya, other regions with low crime rates include other North Caucasus republics, Mordovia, St. Petersburg, and a few oblasts in Central Russia, such as Belgorod, Tula, Ryazan and Penza.
Eleven regions report noticeably high crime rates. In addition to Tyva, they include Transbaikalia, Buryatia, Khakassia, Altai, Komi, Sakhalin and Amur oblasts.
Crime rates partially depend on the age and sex make-up of a region's population. Thus, higher crime rates are observed in sparsely populated regions of Siberia and the Far East with a higher proportion of young men, while the population of central and northwestern Russia is generally older, with fewer potential offenders. In the North Caucasus, nearly one-third of the population are children below 15, i.e. not a crime-prone group.