The 2022 crime balance, recently published by the Ministry of the Interior, has shown an increase of 18.8% of all crimes committed in Spain. From this overall calculation, it is worth noting the increase in thefts (30.2%), robberies in establishments (14.6%) and computer fraud (26%), figures that generate social and economic concern, especially in the most affected areas. This circumstance has pushed the PP to take the initiative in Congress and present a bill to reform the Penal Code and toughen the penalties against multiple repeat offenders.
Why is multi-recidivism pursued? Because, as the popular ones explain, collecting data from the police unions, 26% of those arrested are multiple repeat offenders (data from 2009). Therefore, the legislative proposal of the popular wants to end the “absence of deterrent effectiveness” that there is in the current Criminal Code against multiple repeat offenders because “the sanction is the same for those who commit a crime as for those who commit a continuous succession of crimes ». “This inefficiency of the criminal system not only acts as a stimulus for repeat offenders, but also discourages victims, police officers, judges and prosecutors when they face cases of multiple recidivism,” the PP states in the explanatory statement.
In this sense, since 2014, an average of 700,000 complaints are filed for theft per year, but only 10% end with a sentence and only 300 end up in prison. In other words, according to these data, thefts are very cheap for their perpetrators, while it is very expensive for public administrations (300 million euros per year of impact) and the private sector (1,800 million), main victims of this criminal typology. Farmers, who are robbed in the countryside, or merchants and tourists, are also important victims. In this sense, the PP’s bill is also requested by agrarian organizations or trade associations and the Catalan employers’ association Foment del Treball, since Catalonia is a region that is seriously affected by theft. Tourists in Barcelona are a regular target for organized pickpockets.
Given this panorama, what is the penal reform that the PP intends to promote? In total, there are five changes, which affect articles 22, 66, 80, 235 and 250 of the Penal Code. In this sense, in the article 22 it is intended to include in the aggravating circumstance of recidivism “the types taxed by multiple recidivism of minor crimes”, since currently minor crimes do not compute for the purposes of recidivism; in it article 235, where multiple recidivism is already regulated, they want to add penalties ranging from six to 18 months in prison for offenders who have already been previously convicted of three minor offenses and regardless of the amount stolen, since up to now, this penalty has only It is applicable for when the stolen has a value greater than 400 euros; and, in the article 250the multiple recidivism for the crime of computer fraud is regulated and jail sentences of six months to three years will be imposed when the offenders have also been previously convicted of committing minor crimes and regardless of the amount defrauded.
The bill will be debated this Tuesday in the plenary session of Congress and its defense will be carried out by deputy Luis Santamaría. The truth is that on August 19 a reform of the Penal Code promoted by the PDeCat came into force, with the support of the PSOE, to address this multiple recidivism, but the popular ones consider that it has not taken effect according to the data. In this legislative reform, the penalties for multiple recidivism in thefts were increased to between six and 18 months in prison provided that the accumulated amount of the infractions is greater than 400 euros: the popular consider that it is “very difficult” to certify that amount and, therefore, in practice, the imposition of these penalties is very complicated. In this sense, the PDeCat, very combative with insecurity in Barcelona, is studying the proposal of the popular, although the vote has not yet been decided.