Mounting crime and the media

According to a VPRC survey titled «Crime in the Prefectures of Greece and in European Countries,» Greece is last on the list as regards violent crimes and second to last for crimes against property (break-ins and car theft), with the exception of murder, where Greece ranks fifth. The average crime rate in Greece is much lower than in other EU member states. Nevertheless, Greeks (along with the Spaniards) show the highest rates of crime phobia. Criminologists attribute this to the stance of the media. As pointed out by criminologist Alexandra Moschopoulou, press releases reveal the following: 1. Migrant criminality receives exaggerated media coverage. The image depicted by the press is that two in three offenders are foreigners. 2. Crime committed by migrants is represented more unfavorably than offenses committed by Greeks. News reporters give a more negative view of migrant offenders (58.8 percent) than of Greek offenders (45 percent). 3. Repatriated Greeks are also negatively presented in the press. 4. Newspaper coverage of crime – in particular crimes committed by migrants – has expanded greatly since the 1990s. From the beginning to the end of the decade, press coverage had doubled, while the number of criminal offenses had increased by only 12 percent, according to the annual Police Statistical Yearbook.