The rapid rise of cybercrime in Switzerland

The 2021 crime data for Switzerland presents the increase in crimes that they call “digital offences” as the most noteworthy aspect. Cybercrimes amounting to a total of 30,351 were detected, a figure that represents an increase of 24% over the previous year and an average of 83 crimes per day. The vast majority, 88%, can be defined as economic cybercrime. Specifically, the largest increase can be found in cyberfraud or cyberscams. The most frequent offence is the non-distribution of paid products on small platforms (6,884), followed by identity theft in online payments (use of third party identity), (6,670).

In the area of violent crime, different scenarios can be identified depending on the type of crime. The lowest number of homicides was recorded since the beginning of the series in 1982, 42 homicides, with most of them (23; 54.8%) occurring in a domestic setting. Fifteen women and one man were murdered by their partners (current or former). Three of the deceased were children who died at the hands of a parent. On the other hand, criminal injury has remained stable compared to the previous year, with 1,665 cases, and sexual violence has increased significantly. Specifically, rape reached a total of 757 (44 more than in 2020) and is now the highest recorded figure in the last ten years.

Property crimes (non-digital) also included different behaviour: 31,186 home burglaries were recorded, which is 5% less than the previous year and confirms a downward trend since 2012. Additionally, street thefts and robberies (-1,912) and pickpocketing (-1,723) also experienced a decrease. Vehicle thefts/burglaries increased by 995 cases, as well as the theft of electric bicycles (8,919 cases, 47% more than the previous year), while classic bicycles, still a frequent object of theft (27,246), recorded a decrease of 11% in the last year.

82,284 people were arrested for committing criminal acts, of which 13.3% were minors and 15.9% were young adults (between 18 and 24 years of age). Both the number of adult detainees and the number of young adults decreased, while the number of juveniles increased (3.5%). Juveniles were mostly arrested for minor offences, such as damage or shoplifting, but the number arrested for violent crimes has continued its upward trend of recent years.

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