Delinquency around the world


Delinquency is minor crime especially committed by young people. The International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISDR) was initiated in 1989 to 1990 by the Dutch research and documentation center(WODC) involving thirteen countries with its first report been written in 1994 and a follow up merged analysis in 2003. The second ISDR was done in 2005 to 2007 and involved thirty one countries. The study targeted teenagers between the age of twelve and fifteen.

With an all-time prevalence and a recently or on-set prevalence, the ISDR-1 divided the crimes into three; rare, not usual and common with a commonness of low, high and medium. Shoplifting was identified as a common but low delinquency, stealing at school and vandalism was a medium common crime while fare dodging, driving without a license or insurance, truancy and alcohol use was a high crime. Not usual crimes such as stealing a bike and graffiti were low, stealing at home and work, burglary, selling stolen goods and use of soft drugs such as marijuana were medium and buying stolen goods, carrying weapons and engaging in riots were high. Rare crimes like beating family and other people, pickpocketing and threatening someone were low, stealing a car or from a car were medium and use of hard drugs like cocaine was high. In relation to gender and age, boys onset was earlier than that of girls and boys were also considered more delinquent than girls. Lack of a father figure also contributed greatly compared to lack of a mother figure.

In ISRD-2 peer pressure was a great factor in the prevalence of the delinquency. Those living in large cities also had a high ‘life time’ prevalence compared to those in smaller cities. Due to association with groups, group fights were especially increased crimes among boys and frequent violent offences and were also greatly associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs. Shoplifting was common among girls and also among teenagers raised up in a single-parent set-up. Post-socialist countries and in ex-socialist countries, tighter social control on school children than in Western countries may prevent them from committing more offenses.

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  1. Josine Junger-Tas (2003). Delinquency in an International Perspective: The International Self-Reported Delinquency Study (ISRD). Ineke Haen Marshal, Dennis Ribeaaud: Criminal Justice Press.
  2. Josine Junger-Tas (2009). Juvenile Delinquency in Europe and Beyond: Results of the Second International Self-Report Delinquency Study. Ineke Haen Marshal Dirk Enzmann Martin Killias, Majone Steketee, Beata Gruszezynska: Springer Sciences & Business Media. 1-13.
  3. Josine Junger-Tas (2011). The many Faces of Youth Crime: Contrasting Theoretical perspective on Juvenile Delinquency across countries and cultures. Ineke Haen Marshal, Dirk Enzmann, Martin Killias, Majone Steketee, Beata Gruszczynska: Springer Sciences & Business Media 69-94
  4. Uberto Gatti (2011). Deviant Youth Groups in 30 Countries: Results From the Second International Self-Report Delinquency Study. Sandrine Haymoz,, Hans M. A. Schadee
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