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Rise in violent crime

Police in Geneva try to keep a demonstration from getting out of hand Keystone

There has been a significant rise in the number of violent crimes committed in three of Switzerland’s most populous cantons.

This content was published on February 16, 2005 - 10:58

In Zurich, acts of violence rose by 27 per cent last year, while the number of people injured through criminal acts increased by 25 per cent in Geneva.

Crimes such as murder, serious bodily injury and assault more than doubled to 987 in Zurich in 2004, accounting for one in every five acts of violence in the canton.

Foreigners accounted for 60 per cent of violent crimes.

“The spiral of violence is continuing to rise,” said Marcel Suter of Zurich cantonal police, while presenting the statistics on Tuesday.

The main reason for the large increase in the number of reported crimes was a new criminal law which came into force on April 1, 2004.

Since then, police in Zurich have had to respond to domestic violence involving bodily injury, assault, sexual coercion and rape.

These accounted for a little less than half of all acts of violence committed in the canton last year.

Lower threshold

Suter said the police had noticed that the threshold for violence had become lower.

In canton Geneva, there was a six per cent rise in crime last year and 25 per cent more cases of people being injured in criminal acts.

The French-speaking canton reported six murders in 2004, two more than in the previous year.

Police in canton Schaffhausen reported an increase in violent crimes committed by young people.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Criminal acts rose in Zurich by 1.6% last year.
Acts of violence increased by 27.2%.
In Geneva, crime was up by 6%, with violent acts rising by more than 25%.

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