Five North Caucasian republics have made it to an official list of the safest regions of the Russian Federation. Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, and Daghestan all made it to the list, which is based on official crime statistics. The data was collected by the Federal State Statistics Service using data from regional ministries of internal affairs for the first quarter of 2017.
Chechnya and Ingushetia top the list as the safest regions of Russia, with very low levels of street crime according to local authorities.
Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov declared in January at the republic’s Ministry of Internal Affairs that crime in Chechnya was the lowest in Russia. He said that compared to 2015, the number of ‘offences against the the person’ dropped by 4%, including murders, which dropped by 33%, Juvenile delinquency, which dropped by 42%, while the number of deaths in road accidents decreased by 26%.
However, the authorities distinguish between street crime, and what they label as terrorism. According to Kadyrov, ‘the most acute issue is the fight against terrorism. During one year 122 crimes of a terrorist nature were identified, while 17 members of illegal armed formations were liquidated and 19 were detained’.
The low levels of recorded crime, according to some experts, is connected less to the work of the authorities, but the traditions of the inhabitants of the North Caucasus. Gadzhimurat Sagitov, editor-in-chief of Daghestani newspaper Novoye Delo, attributed the low crime rates to extrajudicial patterns of conflict resolution in the region.
‘There has always been strict community control here. In the Caucasus, the institutes of public censure and the family are very developed. As a result, people, fearing condemnation from society, keep themselves from committing crimes. Finally, there are the peculiarities of local law enforcement agencies and the custom of masliat (reconciliation), that is, the conclusion of a truce between the parties to the conflict. Sometimes the parties don’t register the crime and it’s not reflected in the statistics, as both parties agree on a peaceful resolution of the conflict’, he said.