Crime rate approaches that of Europe

The crime rate for burglaries, violence and criminal threats in Switzerland is now the same as the European average, according to a police survey released on Tuesday.

This content was published on August 30, 2011 - 11:42 and agencies

The victims’ report, for the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors, found the myth of Switzerland being the safest country worldwide no longer held true.

“Although Switzerland had the lowest crime rate in 1988, today’s crime rate is to a large extent aligning itself with the percentages in the rest of Europe,” said a conference statement.

In 2004, the date of the last survey, 5.1 per cent of the people polled said they had been burgled. In this year’s survey it was 7.1 per cent. Ten per cent had been a victim of violence or threats. These crimes are also reported to be more severe than in previous years.

A reason for the rise in robberies could be the rise in value of stolen goods such as gold, said Martin Killias, the Zurich University criminology professor who carried out the survey. Organised gang crime is also undergoing a boom, he said. In his presentation he said that Switzerland could no longer necessarily be thought of as the safest country worldwide.

Nevertheless, the report found that most people had confidence in the police. Around 2,000 people were polled. The victims’ survey has been carried out since the mid-1980s.

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