The non-violent crime rate continues to fall in Switzerland

The data published by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Statistics[1] confirm the trend over recent years. First, both strictly criminal offences and those that are against drug-trafficking–related legislation and those against immigration law continue to fall. Criminal offences have gone down more than the previous year (61% and in 2016 they had fallen by 4%), whereas violations of immigration law have decreased even more (9.1%, as opposed to drop of 1% in 2016). Crimes related to drug trafficking have fallen slightly more than last year (3.8% in 2017 as opposed to 3% last year).     In this context, it is important to stress that offences against personal integrity have not gone down in the same way, and have remained stable (there are 90 fewer cases, indiscernible in percentage terms[2]).  Significant decreases are seen with regard to crime against property, which amount to 67.5% of offences against the criminal code and fall by 6%. The decrease in burglaries is noteworthy and goes down by 12%. Crimes against human liberty see a fall of 9.1%, but are not so relevant in global terms.

Regarding detentions (“accused”, as they say), the overall number remains stable (0.1% less than the previous year) but an increase of 8.3% is detected in the detention of minors, although these refer to minor offences like theft, damage, brawls and insults. Those Swiss nationals detained for offences against the criminal code still do not account for half (47.85%). Most foreigners detained (59.31%) are habitual residents in the country, 8.6 asylum seekers and 32% are non-residents. The relatively high numbers of permanent foreign residents are manifest when the predominant nationalities involved are seen. The first four places are taken by Italians, Portuguese, Germans and French, which are nationalities that have a large number of habitual residents in the country. On the other hand, regarding offences against drug legislation, the Swiss are indeed the majority (55.75%) and concerning offences related to immigration laws, non-resident foreigners naturally account for the immense majority (80%).

The crime rate (criminal law) per thousand inhabitants is 52.1 (a drop of 6%) and the cantons with the highest rates are the more urban and populated areas: Basel city (113.5), Geneva (102.8) and Neuchatel (65.8). The ones with the lowest rates are very rural and less populated areas: Uri (22.7), Appenzell Innerrhoden (23) and Schwyz (26%).

[1] Vid.

[2] 24.632 this year per 24,722 last year.


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