The data published by the Swiss Federal Institute of Statistics confirm the downward trend over recent years in strictly penal infractions and those committed against drug trafficking legislation and those which regulate immigration laws. This trend is very clear in the case of penal infractions (-4%, with a reduction of roughly twenty thousand offences overall), and also considerable in the area of drug trafficking (-3%, three thousand fewer) and less noticeable in the sphere of immigration laws (-1%, about three hundred fewer cases).
It is important, however, to note that the decrease in penal infractions is due to a significant reduction in the more habitual crime, crime against property, which sees a drop of 6%. In this area, there is an 11% reduction in burglaries and a 13% reduction in snatching. Theft of vehicles has gone down more moderately (6%).
Crimes against life and physical integrity see a 2% rise. Although homicides have gone down by 21% (from 57 to 45), attempted homicide has increased by 33% and minor injuries, by 6%. As far as gender violence is concerned, 19 deaths were recorded (one every three weeks), the vast majority of which (18) were women.
Crimes against sexual integrity have seen a rise of 8% and crimes against honour, intimacy and confidentiality see a 6% rise. Although crimes against freedom have generally dropped by 5%, the crime of people trafficking has increased by 116% (from 58 to 125). This factor may be linked to massive movements of people towards Europe in recent years. This circumstance would also explain why infractions against immigration laws remain relatively stable (-1%) and do not follow the more marked downward trend applicable to other offences.
As far as the arrested are concerned (“accused”, as they say), the report stresses that the decrease in minors, which, although it has only gone down by 1.4% compared with last year, only amounts to half the number recorded in 2009. Most of those detained are foreigners (41.172 per 37,068 nationals). In any case, as we commented in last year’s statistics, the fact that many of these (24,018) reside habitually in the country must be borne in mind, as there is a large foreign population which lives there without becoming nationalised.
The canton (semi-canton, in this case) with the highest crime rate is the city of Basel (110. 1 per 100,000), which is higher than Geneva (now with 107.1, a 12-point drop in comparison with the previous year), Neuchâtel (75.1) and Vaud (70.5). Uri continues to have the lowest crime rate (18.7), followed by Nidwalden (26.6) and Schwytz (27.3).