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Baltics are murder capital of Europe, report finds

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By Emma Beswick
Baltics are murder capital of Europe, report finds

Three Baltic states clocked up the highest number of intentional homicides relative to their population out of all EU member states, a Eurostat report has found.

The report uses data from 2015 and showed 5,000 victims were recorded by police in the European Union throughout the year.

Lithuania recorded by far the most among countries for which the data was available, with 5.89 victims per 100,000 inhabitants.

Following this, Latvia (3.37) and Estonia (3.19) filled the next two positions.

Bulgaria and Cyprus were the first non-Baltic states in the ranking — with 1.79 and 1.77 intentional homicide victims per 100,000 inhabitants respectively, putting the countries fourth and fifth overall.

France recorded the highest number in 2015 in absolute terms, racking up 1,017 victims and totalling 21% of the bloc's overall figure.

However, when cross-referencing this against the size of the country's population, the Western European country came in seventh overall.

Considering overall intentional homicide figures Germany (682 or 14%), Poland (530 or 11%) and Italy (469 or 10%) came in behind France but only saw around half of the homicides recorded in the country.

The lowest number of intentional homicide victims relative to population was recorded in Austria (0.51), the Netherlands (0.62), Spain (0.65), the Czech Republic (0.75) and Italy (0.77).

Publication of Eurostat's report marks the European Day for Victims of Crime.

In a statement, the European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova said she deeply regrets some EU countries still have not completely transposed The Victims' Rights Directive since November 2015.

"I call once again on these countries to take action without further delay. This is a double injustice for the victim," she added.

Data use in Eurostat's report was taken from national records and may be affected by differences in national criminal justice systems and recording practices.