Environmental Crime Trends in Slovenia in the Past Decade
Environmental issues become part of modern society within a developed economic system. This article examines the changes of number and forms of detected environmental crime in Slovenia with the purpose to form useful prevention and deterrence methods to face this ‘new’ form of crime.
The method of crime statistics analysis (data obtained from police, inspectorate, public prosecutors’ office and courts of justice) is used for the analysis of the environmental crimes trends in Slovenia with the purpose to estimate the actual situation in the country. Furthermore, using the responses of 25 Slovenian experts in a field of environmental justice, additional standpoints analysis and comparison with the official statistic data is conducted.
Previous environmental crime surveys in Slovenia revealed that Slovenia still has a largely intact nature, especially rich water resources and large areas of forest land. On the other hand, the number of yearly detected criminal offences against the environment, space and natural resources is relatively small; in average only 145 offences per year. Analysis of official statistical data show that the illegal waste disposal, the torture of animals, the game poaching, and the burdening and destruction of environment and space in general are groups of environmental crime forms, most often dealt with by police and inspectorate. Another issue is the finding that only one third of filled criminal charges end successfully with a conviction.
Research limitations / implications:
Given that the official crime statistics do not cover the grey area of crime, where white-collar and organized environmental crime acts prevail, additional, more focused surveys could improve the gained research results.
Environmental crime currently signifies big challenges for criminal justice theory and practice. The results presented here represent a first and very useful basis for additional activities in the study of environmental crime Slovenia.
Keywords: environmental crime, Slovenia, crime trends, environmental crimeprevention