Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

Evidently, Crespo is a poet who continued to work hard on himself over the years and who remained open to new experiences. His best poems reveal a fastidiousness of language seldom found in Spanish outside the poets of the Symbolist tradition, though the sense of humanity they express is directly accessible and often very moving.


Further reading

d
Di Pinto, M. (ed.) (1964) Angel Crespo, Poesie, Rome: Sciascia (contains a long preface).

ARTHUR TERRY


crime

There is a conviction among many people in Spain that crime has risen spectacularly since the ending of the Franco dictatorship. Though the statistics indicate a considerable increase in reported crime to a peak around 1989-91, this evidence must be handled with considerable care. The apparent contrast between the relative safety of city streets during the Franco regime and the frequency of armed robberies (atracos) in the 1980s, conceals the fact that for most of the period of the dictatorship censorship of the media prevented the public from obtaining an accurate picture of crime statistics. In any case, the incidence of crime began to rise before Franco’s death, and is partly attributable to the increasing social and economic pressures associated with the ending of the boom around 1973 to 1974, and the growing drug problem: in 1990, the head of the prison service estimated that half those in prison were there because of drug-related offences.

Drug dependency is probably one of the main explanations for the huge increase in the type of crime most likely to affect public perceptions: muggings and armed robberies. Between 1980 and 1985, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice and the Interior, reported crimes in this category rose two and a half times, from 9,918 to 27,887. There was a further increase of the same order to a peak of 71,602 in 1990, but this figure was halved to 35,170 by 1995. Over approximately the same period (1984-94), arrests for drug trafficking almost trebled, from 11,446 to 31,703, and seizures of drug consignments quadrupled, from 6,939 to 28,301. The other type of crime which directly affects the public is car theft, which has risen from its already high 1980 level. In the period 1980 to 1985, there was an increase of 30 percent in car theft, from 91,548 to 118,975, and a further 14 percent increase to 135,559 by 1990. The 1995 figure, however, shows a substantial decrease of 27 percent, to 98,847.

Though these figures suggest a substantial improvement during the period 1990 to 1995, caution is needed in interpreting the statistics because they reflect only reported crime. Police figures for 1995 suggest that the number of armed robberies may be more than double the figure quoted above. It is probable that in Spain there is a higher degree of reluctance in the population to report crime than there is in Britain, owing to the legacy of distrust created by heavy-handed policing in Franco’s day, which has not entirely disappeared. Even allowing for this, however, the fact that the reported crime rate in Spain in 1990 was less than a third of that for England and Wales provides some grounds for claiming that the overall picture is relatively favourable. The deterioration perceived by the general population refers principally to urban-based and drug-related offences such as armed robbery and car theft, and the increase in economic crime such as fraud and embezzlement. But 88 percent of urban crime in 1995 was against property, and only 1.7 percent against the person. Crime is relatively infrequent in rural areas, and even the pessimistic estimates given by police figures show that overall crime rates have fallen by 7 percent between 1992 and 1995.


Further reading

h
Hooper, J. (1995) The New Spaniards, Harmondsworth: Penguin (chapters 15 and 16 give a concise and balanced account of law and order issues).

EAMONN RODGERS

-128-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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