POLICING IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge with Experience from the West,
© 1996 College of Police and Security Studies, Slovenia


Egidijus Kurapka

Criminality in Lithuania is increasing rapidly, its structure is changing, new contingents of criminals have formed and new kinds of criminals have appeared. The state is not able to resist the criminality yet due to lack of financial means and forensic equipment due to improper methods of investigation and laws. Separate special means controlling criminality and the same changes in laws can give only temporary positive effect but the situation will not be changed in essence.

It is high time to start investigating the criminality in Lithuania in a complex way; to carry out the research of control possibilities, to generalise the experience of foreign countries and transform it under the Lithuanian conditions.

In 1994 the research project "Criminality and Criminal Justice" was prepared and started to carry out at the Police Academy of Lithuania. The project was accepted and positively evaluated by the Lithuanian Science Council experts, the authorities and scientists of law enforcement agencies and the project became a state research programme.

The Police Academy of Lithuania was nominated to co-ordinate the fulfilment of the Programme; besides the Academy, the scientists of the Institute of Law at the Ministry of Justice, the Institute of Forensic Sciences, the Law Faculty of the Vilnius University, the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Science Academy participate in the research work.

Carrying out the Research Programme we follow the opinion that criminality is a social phenomenon and it should be investigated by various law specialists and scientists of other fields.

The Object of the Research - crime, criminal justice activities, penal and civil effect measures for crime control in Lithuania.

The Purpose of the Research - to prepare programmes, projects of legal acts and other proposals to effectuate crime control in Lithuania for the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic, the Government and institutions of criminal justice.

The Aim of the Research - to create the scientific basis of the analysis of tendencies and causes of crime in Lithuania; to investigate the effectiveness of ciminalistics and penal and civil effect measures on criminality in Lithuania.

The Main Tasks of the Research - to prepare the concept of the analysis of criminal tendencies and causes and to prepare the proposals for the improvement of the Lithuanian penal policy; to create an effective crime control system of rational punishments and civil legal effect measures; to analyse the practice of the application of the criminal code and criminalistics in crime investigation in Lithuania and to prepare the concept of crime investigation in Lithuania and, on the basis of this concept, to prepare concrete proposals for the effectuation of crime investigation in the Republic.

The research programme "Criminality and Criminal Justice" is to be fulfilled in 1994- 1997. The results of the research of the years 1994-1995 could be defined as follows:

In 1996 the research has been successfully continued. 3 main types of the research have been done while accomplishing the Program.


Crime data were examined till 1995. The preliminary theses and main conclusions about the indices of crime were prepared.

Crime in Lithuania in 1988-1995

(preliminary conclusions of statistic analysis, recommendations and suggestions)

Main Tendencies

A great leap of statistic data of reported crimes in Lithuania started in 1988, therefore this year is considered to be a base year of our analyzed period. Analysis is being made every year and it is supplemented by new data. Having analysed and estimated the crime statistics of 1988- 1995, main conclusions are possible to be done:

Recommendations and suggestions how to solve the problem

Taking into consideration long lastingcomplicated crime situation, the conclusions of its statistic analysis and prognoses, it is suggested to concentrate joint efforts of researchers and practical persons to solve these urgent problems of crime control and prevention:

  1. The priority should be given to the control and prevention of these forms and types of crimes: crimes against persons life, health, inviolability of person and property; organized, economic and other crimes connected with corruption; control of socially disadapted persons inclined to crime, the creation of their resocialization system; early prevention of under-aged and juvenile violence of law (as the potential reserve and resource for the increase of general crime rate); prevention of crime relapse.

    In order to solve the mentioned problems special programs should be created, and already prepared special programs are to be put into life.

  2. It is very important to create a complex national program for crime control and prevention. It should cover the system of legal, organizational, political, scientific, informational, analytical and other means:
  3. Our country is integrating into the political, economic and legal structures of Europe, therefore, it is urgent to prepare scientific theoretical preconditions for the creation of crime control and prevention national system. Creating and implementing the system it is necessary to take into consideration the prognoses and perspectives of the legal system of Lithuania, social, economic and political development, as well as crime situation.

Carrying out the research the statistic records of persons, who did crimes according to the law and social demographic features in 1990-1995 were accumulated and methodized.

The interaction between the criminal's personality and environmental factors, which are expressed in the statistic data is analysed (1988-1995). Methodized data characterising the "statistic" inhabitant of Lithuania and crime and criminal personality were prepared for the deeper analysis according to the mathematics methods. The initial concept of the criminological data bank was looked through adapting it to the bank requirements. There was detailed:


Several themes of research are carried out in this type.

  1. Reform of the crime penalties being a constituent part of the reform of the law system. While implementing it:

While doing the research on "Scientific methodical preconditions for the creation of balanced system of penal and administrative influence means", developing the methods of research, it is defined more exactly how to compare sanctions provided by the Penal Code, data of the courts practice and results of the questionnaires of the experts, doing balanced sanctions system. The schemes of the numbers of the sanctions of the Penal Code were designed for the comparison of the data of the courts practice and of the results of the questionnaires of the experts:

Imprisonment penalty putting into practice in Lithuania in 1991-1994;

Articles (parts of them) of the Penal Code according which the imprisonment penalty was not put into practice in 1991-1994;

The frames of the quantity of the imprisonment sanctions suggested by the experts for the most important specific crimes.

Defining more exactly the conception of the balanced sanction system the main factors (value - the object of attempt, the circumstances of doing the deed, the degree of guilty), which condition the heaviness of a crime were analysed and the evaluation criteria of the factors were formed.

The method of putting value criterion into practice was detailed. The suggestion was made to classify the crimes associated with the same value, firstly, by the circumstances by which a deed was done and its degree of completeness. These circumstances predetermine the heaviness of a crime from the point of view of that value as these circumstances define the value's violation scale, character and other aspects of a deed. Taking into account this criterion, crimes associated by one and the same value are suggested to classify into 3 groups according to their heaviness. Dependence to one group defines relative heaviness of the crime from the point of view of value.

Developing the methods of comparative analysis of penal and administrative codes norms, the analysis of several competing articles of the penal and administrative laws was made (crimes and administrative violations against property, managing order and finance).

Having analysed the sanctions of the existing penal law from the point of view of value criterion, it is ascertained that the average of the specified crimes sanctions do not reflect the real meaning of the values protected by the Penal Law. In addition, imprisonment penalty for different types of crimes in the frame of specific crimes are not balanced, because the system of values of the specific crimes is confused and discordant. Three drafts of the Penal Code's articles, according to values system suggested by the working group were prepared and the preliminary generalisation of them was made. Classification of the circumstances which make the influence to the defining of sanctions have begun and is continued further on.

Having analysed, evaluated and worked up the results of the experts' questionnaire, the conclusion should be made that:


Accomplishing it:

On the practical plane the recommendations by which stages to develop the information systems in the police commissariats are formulated and the content, terms of these stages are defined. These recommendations are presented to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

These are the first results of the accomplishment of the complex Programme on "Crime and Criminal Justice" in Lithuania.

In our opinion the implementation of this Programme is a very important, original and complex work in order to develop the control of criminality, to solve the urgent theoretical and practical problems of legal reform in Lithuania.

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