While Poland is relatively safe overall, some cities have a higher crime rate than others. I’ve compiled a list of the most dangerous cities. In order to do it, I used statistics to determine the ranking positions. It’s important to note that a high position on this list doesn’t mean the city is unsafe. So, whether you’re wondering if it’s safe to walk around with your wallet or if you should keep a closer eye on your surroundings, the list will give you an idea of what to expect.
The Cities With the Highest Crime Rate in Poland
When it comes to crime in Poland, the latest statistics show which cities are the most dangerous. The list was generated based on the number of incidents per 1,000 residents. It’s important to note that a city’s sense of safety shouldn’t just be measured by petty thefts, but also by more serious criminal and economic cases. With that in mind, here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in Poland based on the latest data:
It may come as a surprise that Zakopane, a popular mountain town where everyday life seems peaceful, tops the list. But the numbers speak for themselves, and it’s always important to stay vigilant, as crime can happen unexpectedly. Please make sure you read my other article about the largest cities in Poland by area. You will learn from this text why actually small city is on top of the list.
Crime Statistics in Poland
Official data from the Police Headquarters reveals that the most common crime, specifically theft, is on the rise. Colonel Zbigniew Stawarz, who used to lead the Criminal Bureau and Silesian police, warns that this trend is only getting worse. The Bureau of Criminal Intelligence and Information of the National Police Headquarters is responsible for collecting and analyzing data on crime and police activity.
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As I already mentioned, thefts have seen a significant increase in the country, according to official data. This is not just about petty crimes, large amounts of money are involved as well.
Provincial data shows that some areas are hit harder than others. Bialystok and Opole seeing the biggest spikes in thefts. Interestingly, the number of thefts preceded by burglaries has decreased slightly. Similarly, there is a small change in the case of robbery and extortion and a significant increase in cases of vandalism.
A police officer suggests that budget cuts, for example turning off street lights to save money could be contributing to this trend. It’s important to note that these figures only reflect a part of the crime picture and it’s not necessarily synonymous with the overall level of danger in the city. However, it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes around your head and your bags always in front of you, so that no one snatches them.
The good news is that the trend of decreasing homicides in Poland continues. Last year (2022), there were 310 reported cases, but this year, we’ve seen a decrease of 27. The best part is that almost all of the perpetrators have been caught.
You might be wondering what actually causes these homicides in Poland. According to Colonel Aleksander Ławreszuk, who previously headed the criminal division of the Lubuskie police, most of these cases involve arguments over alcohol among casual acquaintances or even relatives. And in most cases, the perpetrator is apprehended at the scene of the crime.
The police’s statistical bulletin for the first half of 2022 also sheds some light on where crime is more likely to occur. According to the illustrations, residents of cities like Katowice, Szczecin, Krakow and Wroclaw are at a higher risk of criminal activity. On the other hand, the probability is low in provinces like Podkarpackie, Lublin and Podlasie.
Causes of Crime Rate in These Cities
When we look at the number of crimes that happen in a city, it can give us an idea of how safe that city is. However, it’s important to remember that all crimes are not the same. A murder, rape, or violent robbery has a much bigger impact on a community than a burglary or small-scale fraud.
Researchers, such as criminologists, sociologists, psychologists, and educators, have been trying to understand the causes of criminal behavior for a long time. Despite many studies, it’s still difficult to come up with a clear explanation for why crime happens.
Because of this, there are many different theories and ideas about why people commit crimes. These theories focus on different aspects of criminal behavior and try to explain it in different ways. In forensic science, crimes are often categorized based on the motivation behind them, such as economic, erotic, or those stemming from danger.
He is the list of reasons why crimes are committed in most cases:
- Economic reason (e.g., robbery),
- Sexual reason
- Responses to a threat of personal property,
- Romantic (e.g., jealousy ),
- Reactions to alcohol or drugs,
- Unmotivated – so-called irrational.
On top of that, there are various social-psychological attitudes that place the origins of crime in different causes of social inadequacy.
How Government May Combat The Crimes
Lighting dark places, increased police patrols in particularly dangerous neighborhoods. There are different methods of crime prevention, but only some of them are actually effective. According to the book titled. „A Treatise on Good Crime Prevention,” by Dr. Pawel Waszkiewicz from the Department of Forensic Science at Warsaw University, the most effective are the one below:
- Lighting in public places reduces the number of crimes
- Increased police presence in „crime hot spots ” works as well
- Monitoring cameras are effective, but only in garages and parking lots
- Prevention programs are always good idea
Right now, you probably wonder if it’s safe to visit Zakopane or other places on the list. It is definitely safe. The reason for this is that Poland is a safe country in general. The fact that the city is at the top of the list does not mean you will be robbed when you get there. The rules are always the same. Whenever you go, regardless of the city or country, keep your wallet hidden, avoid drunk strangers, and everything should be ok.