Persistent drop in the crime rate in Switzerland

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Crime-related data corresponding to Switzerland in 2015 confirms the downward trend in the number of crimes recorded by all the country’s police agencies.

“Penal” offenses fell by 7.3% in relation to the previous year’s data, coming to a total of 487,611 (compared with 526,066 the previous year), and are at the lowest level since new federal statistics were introduced in 2009. The rate of these offenses per 1,000 inhabitants stood at 59.2, with a fall of over 5 points compared to the previous year (64.6). Crime against property accounted for most delinquency (68.9% of the total), of which over half involved robberies involving vehicles (206,560 all types included).

In this case, these are also the lowest levels since the introduction of the new federal system of police statistics (336,077 offenses). 1The other frequent crime against property involves damage (44,899). Crime against property as a whole has seen a fall of 9.3% compared to 2014. Meanwhile, fraud and extortion have increased, but crimes of this nature are not so common and the rise does not involve significant numbers (2,311 and 524, respectively).

Violent crime continues to be stable with a very slight, barely perceivable, downward trend (24,184 compared with 24.246 the previous year). Of these homicide is included, 57 of such cases were executed and 141 attempted, and involved serious bodily harm (616). Homicide was mainly carried out with a knife (48%) and only 18.2% involved a firearm. Grievous bodily harm was the result of most cases of corporal violence (50.2%). Cases of domestic violence, which are included in this group, show the opposite trend with a 10.5% rise (16,495 per 15,650 the previous year), but this rise may be due to improvements in methods to identify such crime in the Zurich canton. Sexual abuse has also seen a 4.2% rise (272 more cases), mainly due to the rise in unlawful prostitution and cases of exhibitionism.

People arrested for committing a crime contained in the criminal code have gone down by 2.5% (77,062), as the downward trend dating back to 2009 continues. Most of these people (40,316) are of foreign nationality. However, it must be kept in mind that much of the foreign population have a permanent residence permit (23,658 of those arrested are permanent residents). The foreigners most frequently arrested are Italians (3,613), Portuguese (3,593) and Germans (2,857).

If you would like access to the complete report, this is available at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

1. It must be noted that theft with violence corresponds to violent crime and not this section.

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