Penal Issues has set out to publish the findings of the CESDIP research programme on crime trends. Issue XXI.4 dated September 2008 was devoted to homicides. The present issue is devoted to non-lethal personal violence, as studied by Renée Zauberman, Philippe Robert, Emmanuel Didier, Sophie Névanen and Lisa Miceli in the framework of a contract (open invitation to tender) with the National Research Agency.
Estimating the trend in a type of crime requires the comparison of data from several sources. In the case of non-lethal violence, victimisation surveys are at hand, in which a representative sample of respondents are questioned about offences to which they were victims during a given period. The results may be compared with the data contained in statistics for police and gendarmerie activity.
Because of the variety of types of violence possibly experienced by survey participants, these will be divided into three categories, analysed in the following order :
– serious physical violence entailing working incapacity of at least eight days,
– other physical violence (less serious injury, blows, and so on),
– « other » violence (such as rackets, non-violent snatching, threats, insults, and so on).