A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) refutes the persistent stereotype of the Balkans as a region of where all kinds of criminals and gangsters run riot. The report says that levels of crime against people and property are lower than in Western Europe, and murder rates have fallen significantly in the last ten years.
Of course it's not all perfect: organised crime and corruption continue to pose significant problems: "victim surveys indicate that, on average, South East Europeans are more likely to face demands for bribes than people in other regions of the world". But even in this area the UNODC believes that progress has been made, and is optimistic about further improvements.
Of course none of this is directly related to travel, but it does tend to confirm the anecdotal evidence of most travellers that Southeast Europe is certainly no more dangerous, and possibly safer than Western Europe.
Read more: UNODC Report