New campaign reveals Europe's most-wanted female fugitives

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By Viola Stefanello
New campaign reveals Europe's most-wanted female fugitives
Copyright  Europol

A new campaign by European crime agency Europol is shining a light on the "most-wanted" female fugitives.

It says in recent decades the number of women taking part in crime has increased, albeit at a slower rate than men.

"One of the possible explanations is that technological progress and social norms have liberated women from the home, increasing their participation in the crime market," said Europol. 

"Researchers consider it important to investigate female criminal behaviour to determine whether the policy prescriptions to reduce crime should differ for women." 

The agency has posted, on a special website, some of the "most-wanted" women across the European continent.

The campaign is an attempt to both break the gender stereotypes around criminality and help bring the fugitives to justice.

Crime statistics show men are responsible for a majority of crimes worldwide and recent studies on women involved in serious crime reveal males still dominate senior roles in organised crime groups. 

The World Female Imprisonment List shows that the number of men in prison has increased worldwide by about 20% over the last 20 years, while that of women has increased by 53%. Although women tend to mostly property crimes, their involvement has increased across every type of crime.