Incidents in the Criminal Context on the Rise – Reveals October-December 2023 Quarterly Armed Violence Monitor

The recently published Regional Quarterly Armed Violence Monitor, covering the period from October to December 2023, reveals trends regarding firearm incidents in South East Europe (SEE).

During the last quarter of 2023, a total of 865 firearm incidents were reported in SEE, accounting for one-fourth of all incidents documented throughout the year. Weapon seizures remained the most reported type of incident, comprising 51% of all incidents, with 444 cases reported. Although this marked a 4% drop from the previous quarter, it reflected a 14% increase from the same period in 2022.

Similar to previous years, the last quarter of 2023 witnessed a high number of seizures of pyrotechnic devices, with 44 reported cases, 57% more than in the same period in 2022.

A total of 143 incidents in the criminal context represent a significant 40% increase compared to the previous quarter. This rise was attributed to an increase in armed robberies and incidents associated with organized crime, reaching the highest number witnessed in any quarter of the year.

With 81 reported cases, undetermined shootings were the third most reported type of incident, showing a 25% decrease compared to the previous quarter.

This quarter also saw 19 celebratory shootings, nearly double compared to the same period of 2022.

The Monitor continues to draw attention to the devastating impact of firearm incidents, with 29 people killed, 106 injured, and 95 threatened in these incidents. It is worth noting that the number of fatalities and injuries caused by the use of firearms decreased by 36% and 2%, respectively, from the previous quarter, while the number of threats increased by 9%. In addition, 11 people died in firearm suicides.

Men accounted for 98% of all perpetrators among those whose sex was reported.

To learn more details on the reported incidents, download the report here.

More data on firearms incidents in South East Europe is available on the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform.

About the Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP)

The AVMP monitors firearms-related incidents happening in South East Europe. Established in 2014, it collects detailed data from media reports and reports of public institutions where available, covering the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova.

The collected data ranges from the type of incident, firearms used, age and gender of the victim and the perpetrator, outcome of the incident, etc.

The AVMP aims to make essential data available to all interested parties and serve as an informative tool for interventions with the overarching goal of a more effective arms control framework and reducing their negative impact on civilians.

The AVMP is supported with funding from the EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/2111 to support SEESAC disarmament and arms control activities in South-East Europe, reducing the threat of illicit small arms and light weapons and their ammunition.