Crime in Romania

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Crime in Romania is combated by the Romanian Police and other agencies.

Crime by type[edit]

Petty crime[edit]

Petty crime is the most common type of criminal behavior in Romania, at above average levels among older members of the European Union.

Violent crime[edit]

Romania differs from many countries in that violent crime is more likely to occur in rural areas than in cities, due to the socioconomic problems of many parts of the countryside.[1] Another peculiarity of Romania is that gun violence is exceptionally rare [2] due to Romania having some of the strictest gun laws in the world. Most homicides are committed with sharp objects such as axes or knives. Among homicides in 2012, only 2% were by firearms,[3] and among suicides in 2015, only 1% were by firearms.[4] Violent crime was much higher in the 1990s.[5]


In 2014, Romania had a murder rate of 1.5 per 100,000 population.[6] There were a total of 298 murders in Romania in 2014.[7]

Crime against tourists[edit]

The United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security stated in 2010 that: "Most crimes against visitors are limited to crimes of opportunity. Travelers should be aware of scams involving individuals posing as plainclothes police officers; approaches of “quick friendship” at train/subway stations; and pick-pocketing in crowded areas."[8] "Historically, panhandlers – often groups of children - can be very aggressive and have resorted to grabbing/tearing clothing in their efforts to distract and steal from their target."[8]


Main article: Corruption in Romania

Due to Romania's entry into the EU, Romania has been forced to improve transparency and accountability in the public sector. However, citizens and businesses still consider the government's reform weak and slow due to poor implementation of laws on transparency of information and decision-making process. The EU Commission's latest Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report has however lauded the National Anticorruption Directorate and various other agencies in improving the fight against corruption, which has recently brought a number of high-profile convictions ranging from a former prime minister and parliamentarians to mayors and businessmen.[9]

Domestic violence[edit]

Further information: Domestic violence in Romania

In the 2010 Eurobarometer poll on violence against women, 39% of Romanian respondents said that they thought DV in their country was "very common", 45% "fairly common", 8% "not very common", 0% "not at all common", and 8% did not know/did not answer.[10] Victim blaming attitudes are common in Romania. In a 2013 Romanian survey, 30.9% of respondents agreed with the assertion that "women are sometimes beaten due to their own fault".[11] In the 2010 Eurobarometer survey, 58% of Romanians agreed that the "provocative behaviour of women" was a cause of violence against women.[10]

By location[edit]


Main article: Crime in Bucharest

Crime in Bucharest is quite low in comparison to other European capital cities, with the number of total offences declining by 51% between 2000 and 2004,[12] and by 7% between 2012 and 2013.[13] Violent and organised crime is quite low (16% of total crimes committed).[13] Petty crime and institutional corruption are more widespread.[13]

Historical crimes[edit]

Perhaps the most notorious criminal in Romania was Ion Rîmaru, a serial killer, who in 1970-1971 murdered and attacked several women in Bucharest. He was sentenced to death and executed in May 1971. In Transylvania, in the 1970s, Romulus Vereș, known as "the man with the hammer", murdered and attempted to murder several women; he was charged with five murders and several attempted murders, but was never imprisoned due to grounds of insanity having been found suffering from schizophrenia, blaming the devil for his actions - instead, he was institutionalised in the Ştei psychiatric facility in 1976. In 1977, in Bucharest, the Anca case (Cazul Anca) would later prove to be one of the worst miscarriages of justice of Romania. A taxi driver was forced, under torture inflicted on him by miliția officers and prosecutors, to admit to a murder that he did not commit, after communist authorities ordered the case to be quickly solved. In 1981, the real murderer, Romca Cozmici, was caught: he admitted to the crime for which the taxi driver was convicted - a gruesome murder of an 18-year old woman, and the dismembering of her body, and also admitted to a second similar murder. He was sentenced to death and executed.[14][15]

See also[edit]