Crime in Switzerland

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Crime in Switzerland is combated by the Swiss police and other agencies.

Crime by type[edit]

Murder[edit]

In 2014, There were a total of 41 murders in Switzerland and had a murder rate of 0.49 per 100,000 population, the lowest raw figure and lowest rate for 33 years, since the start of the nationwide coordinated collection of statistical data, despite a strong growth of inhabitants (from 6.4 million to 8.1 million, +27%) over the same period.[1]

Corruption[edit]

The Transparency International Global Corruption Perception Index 2013 score for Switzerland is 86 (out of 100) and is the 5th best (out of 175) world-wide.[2]

Crime statistics[edit]

In Switzerland, the police registered a total of 526,066 offenses under the Criminal Code in 2014 (-9% compared with previous year), of which were 186,708 or 35.5% cases of thefts (excluding vehicles, -14%), and 47,762 or 9% cases of thefts of vehicles (including bicycles, +8%), 41 killings (-28%) and 132 attempted murders (-13%). There were 556 cases of rape (-3%). Offenses against the Narcotics Act decreased by 16.8% to 80,986. Offenses against the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals decreased by 4.7% to a total of 39,544.[1]

In 2014, 110,124 adults were convicted, of which 55,240 (50%) were convicted according to traffic regulation offences, 6,540 (+1.6%) for trafficking in narcotic substances, and 17,882 (-7.2%) for offenses against the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals.[3] 83,014 or 83.4% of adult convicted people are male, and 42,289 or 42.5% of them Swiss citizens.[4] In the same year, 11,484 minors (78% of them male, 68% of them of Swiss nationality, 64.2% aged either 16 or 17) were convicted.[4]

Convictions for infliction of bodily harm have steadily increased throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with 23 convictions for serious injury and 831 for light injury in 1990 as opposed to 78 and 2,342, respectively, in 2005. Convictions for rape have also slightly increased, fluctuating between 61 and 100 cases per year in the period 1985 to 1995, but between 100 and 113 cases in the period 2000 to 2005. Consistent with these trends, convictions for threats or violence directed against officials has consistently risen in the same period, from 348 in 1990 to 891 in 2003.[5][6]

Types of convictions[edit]

The number of convicted persons is given in the following tables.[7] Each class of crime references the relevant section of the Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code, abbreviated as StGB in German), or Betäubungsmittelgesetz (abbr. BetmG, Narcotics Act), or the Strassenverkehrsgesetz (abbr. SVG, Swiss Traffic Regulations).

Year Total Convicted
Adults
Homicide
(Art. 111,112,113,116 StGB)
Serious Bodily Injury
(Art. 122 StGB)
Minor Bodily Injury
(Art. 123 StGB)
Sexual Contact with Children
(Art. 187 StGB)
Rape
(Art. 190 StGB)
Theft
(Art. 139 StGB)
Robbery
(Art. 140 StGB)
Receiving Stolen Goods
(Art. 160 StGB)
Embezzlement
(Art. 138 StGB)
Fraud
(Art. 146 StGB)
Narcotics Possession Major Violation of Traffic Laws
(Art. 90 Abs. 1&2 SVG)
Impaired Driving
(Art. 91 SVG)
2005 26,199 105 95 2,439 416 110 5,967 497 1,249 906 1,469 5,510 22,015 16,466
2006 26,583 116 105 2,537 388 135 5,933 565 1,186 876 1,516 5,403 21,535 21,058
2007 24,265 105 94 2,262 386 139 5,502 524 930 805 1,597 5,090 21,294 20,108
2008 26,327 107 134 2,632 412 135 5,756 525 909 854 1,660 5,387 25,265 20,600
2009 27,727 103 129 2,655 388 129 6,449 533 941 859 1,566 5,533 25,557 19,711
2010 28,691 94 149 2,677 334 128 6,659 593 905 784 1,750 6,125 25,983 20,591
2011 29,128 82 127 2,721 274 86 6,950 442 1,007 716 1,767 4,710 23,590 18,882
2012 33,925 116 179 2,845 293 108 8,936 511 1,332 745 1,971 5,734 22,906 18,396
2013 35,325 114 178 2,843 317 98 9,491 654 1,433 670 2,307 6,070 22,277 17,465
2014a 32,911 99 197 2,617 288 77 8,335 520 1,112 646 2,153 6,164 24,263 17,041
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.
^ Due to privacy protection laws some convictions are not included.
Year Total Convicted
Minors
Homicide
(Art. 111,112,113,116 StGB)
Serious Bodily Injury
(Art. 122 StGB)
Minor Bodily Injury
(Art. 123 StGB)
Sexual Contact with Children
(Art. 187 StGB)
Rape
(Art. 190 StGB)
Theft
(Art. 139 StGB)
Robbery
(Art. 140 StGB)
Receiving Stolen Goods
(Art. 160 StGB)
Embezzlement
(Art. 138 StGB)
Fraud
(Art. 146 StGB)
Narcotics Possession Major Violation of Traffic Laws
(Art. 90 Abs. 1&2 SVG)
Impaired Driving
(Art. 91 SVG)
2005 7,580 7 10 634 73 14 3,528 375 400 34 65 918 124 180
2006 7,769 7 22 644 118 19 3,418 330 390 35 51 1,019 126 189
2007 6,910 6 21 699 101 19 2,189 285 285 21 47 680 116 141
2008 6,975 4 24 688 80 17 1,998 334 272 17 57 560 101 125
2009 6,931 6 24 665 73 5 2,033 365 311 19 57 600 142 105
2010 7,613 13 36 770 71 17 2,410 413 242 19 51 565 119 141
2011 5,427 2 31 553 65 5 1,585 256 153 10 49 507 138 152
2012 5,070 2 34 476 71 8 1,620 303 164 25 56 554 74 124
2013 5,199 3 32 407 75 21 1,666 325 166 27 90 690 72 95
2014 4,849a 1 33 380 63 8 1,375 231 159 24 70 817 86 124
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.
^ Due to privacy protection laws some convictions are not included.

Historic conviction rates[edit]

The historic adult conviction rates are given in the following chart:[7]

Year Total Adult
Convictions
Criminal Convictions Narcotics Convictions Traffic Convictions
Total Male Swiss Total Male Swiss Total Male Swiss
1985 46,252 20,272 81.1% 66.8% 3,855 81.3% 69.9% 22,125 89.6% 74.5%
1990 52,030 19,810 80.2% 57.1% 4,176 81.8% 61.4% 28,044 88.5% 67.2%
1995 57,478 17,824 83.3% 55.0% 5,442 84.1% 53.7% 34,212 86.5% 63.3%
2000 68,654 20,614 85.2% 49.5% 6,798 70.7% 34.6% 41,242 85.0% 60.3%
2005 80,484 26,199 84.7% 49.7% 6,847 71.6% 33.3% 47,438 84.0% 55.5%
2006 85,477 26,583 84.8% 50.2% 6,792 70.1% 34.7% 52,102 83.7% 54.8%
2007 80,299 24,265 85.0% 51.3% 6,051 74.4% 35.3% 49,983 84.4% 53.9%
2008 88,147 26,327 84.5% 51.0% 6,240 77.2% 36.8% 55,580 83.5% 52.6%
2009 89,542 27,727 84.7% 48.5% 6,430 76.8% 34.8% 55,385 83.3% 52.4%
2010 93,187 28,691 84.0% 47.4% 7,006 78.7% 33.7% 57,490 83.0% 51.6%
2011 87,222 29,128 83.5% 44.9% 5,401 78.2% 32.6% 52,693 83.3% 50.6%
2012 95,702 33,925 83.8% 41.5% 6,562 80.0% 30.6% 55,215 82.0% 50.3%
2013 97,706 35,325 83.3% 40.3% 7,141 77.5% 28.9% 55,240 81.6% 48.8%
2014a 98,582 32,911 82.6% 41.3% 7,392 76.2% 30.4% 58,279 80.4% 48.1%
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.

Age at conviction[edit]

The age of the individuals at the time of their convictions is given in this chart:[7]

Year 18-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-59 60-69 70+
1985 7.9% 26.8% 18.6% 13.6% 10.4% 7.7% 5.4% 6.4% 2.5% 0.7%
1990 6.6% 26.4% 20.7% 14.5% 9.9% 7.5% 5.4% 6.1% 2.2% 0.7%
1995 5.4% 21.4% 20.8% 15.5% 11.5% 8.6% 6.5% 7.1% 2.5% 0.8%
2000 6.5% 19.3% 17.1% 15.5% 12.5% 9.7% 7.2% 8.3% 3.1% 0.9%
2005 7.2% 20.7% 15.4% 13.5% 12.4% 10.5% 7.4% 8.8% 3.1% 1.0%
2006 7.4% 20.6% 15.0% 12.6% 12.0% 10.7% 7.9% 9.2% 3.6% 1.0%
2007 7.5% 20.5% 15.0% 12.2% 12.1% 10.6% 7.9% 9.6% 3.5% 1.2%
2008 6.9% 20.7% 15.3% 12.2% 11.5% 10.1% 8.2% 9.7% 3.9% 1.4%
2009 7.2% 21.0% 15.9% 12.4% 11.2% 10.1% 8.1% 9.0% 3.8% 1.4%
2010 7.1% 20.7% 16.1% 12.3% 11.1% 10.2% 8.0% 9.5% 3.7% 1.4%
2011 6.5% 20.8% 16.8% 12.7% 11.0% 9.5% 7.9% 9.2% 4.0% 1.4%
2012 6.2% 19.9% 17.0% 13.7% 10.7% 9.5% 7.8% 9.3% 4.2% 1.7%
2013 5.9% 18.8% 17.3% 13.9% 11.0% 9.6% 8.2% 9.8% 3.9% 1.6%
2014a 5.4% 17.7% 16.6% 14.2% 11.4% 9.6% 8.6% 10.4% 4.4% 1.8%
^a 2014 conviction numbers may not include convictions overturned on appeal.

Prisons[edit]

At the end of 2006, 5,888 people were interned in Swiss prisons, one third of them on remand , 31% of them Swiss citizens, 69% resident foreigners or illegal immigrants; excluding remand: 36% Swiss or 32 in 100,000, 64% foreigners or 160 in 100,000.

Crime dynamics[edit]

Immigrant criminality[edit]

The crime rate among resident foreigners ("immigrant criminality") is significantly higher (by a factor 3.7 counting convictions under criminal law in 2003).[8] In 1997, there were for the first time more foreigners than Swiss among the convicts under criminal law (out of a fraction of 20.6% of the total population at the time). In 1999, the Federal Department of Justice and Police ordered a study regarding delinquency and nationality (Arbeitsgruppe "Ausländerkriminalität"), which in its final report (2001) found that a conviction rate under criminal law about 12 times higher among asylum seekers (4%), while the conviction rate among other resident foreigners was about twice as high (0.6%) compared to Swiss citizens (0.3%).[9]

In 2010 for the first time was a statistic published which listed delinquency by nationality (based on 2009 data). To avoid distortions due to demographic structure, only the male population aged between 18 and 34 was considered for each group. From this study it became clear that crime rate is highly correlated on the country of origin of the various migrant groups. Thus, immigrants from Germany, France and Austria had a significantly lower crime rate than Swiss citizens (60% to 80%), while immigrants from Angola, Nigeria and Algeria had a crime rate of above 600% of that of Swiss population. In between these extremes were immigrants from Former Yugoslavia, with crime rates of between 210% and 300% of the Swiss value.[10]

The full report listed 24 nationalities plus the crime rate of Swiss citizens (fixed at 100%), and the average value of all foreign citizens combined, at 160%. Commentators expressed surprise[11] at the clear geographical structure of the list, giving, in decreasing order, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, Southern Europe and Western and Central Europe. The Federal Statistics Office published the study with the caveat that the sizes of the groups under comparison vary considerably. For example, the net impact of a crime rate increased by 530% among 500 Angolans will still be five times smaller than a crime rate increased by 30% among 46'000 Portuguese. The country is a target for foreign criminals on account of its reputation as an affluent nation. According to British criminal Colin Blaney in his autobiography 'Undesirables', groups of English thieves have frequently targeted the nation in the past due to the fact its citizens are relatively wealthy and the fact that they are naïve about crime due to the country's low crime rate.[12]

rank country of origin crime rate
(relative value)
registered population
(thousands)[13]
male young adults
(thousands)[14]
1 Angola 6.3 4.4 0.54
2 Nigeria 6.2 2.9 1.5
3 Algeria 6.0 4.1 1.2
4 Côte d'Ivoire 5.9 1.7 0.44
5 Dominican Republic 5.8 5.9 1.0
6 Sri Lanka 4.7 31 4.4
7 Congo (Kinshasa) 4.7 5.8 0.78
8 Cameroon 4.4 4.3 0.97
9 Morocco 4.3 7.4 1.6
10 Tunisia 4.2 6.3 2.1
11 Iraq 3.7 8.0 2.9
12 Colombia 3.2 4.2 0.71
13 Turkey 3.2 73 16
14 the former Serbia and Montenegro
(includes Kosovo)
3.1 188 36
15 Brazil 3.0 17 2.5
16 Egypt 2.7 2.1 0.81
17 Croatia 2.4 35 5.0
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.3 37 6.2
19 Republic of Macedonia 2.3 60 12
total foreign national population 1.6 1,714 330
20 Portugal 1.3 213 46
21 Italy 1.2 294 49
22 Switzerland 1.0 6,072 710
23 Austria 0.8 38 5.8
24 France 0.7 95 21
25 Germany 0.6 266 62

On 28 November 2010, 53% of voters approved a new, tougher deportation law. This law, proposed by the Swiss People's Party, called for the automatic expulsion of non-Swiss offenders convicted of a number of crimes, including murder, breaking and entry and even welfare fraud. As the proposal makes deportation mandatory, it denies judges any judicial discretion over deportation. An alternative proposal, that included case by case reviews and integration measures, was rejected by 54% of voters.[15]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik (PKS) - Jahresbericht 2014" (PDF) (official federal site) (in German, French, and Italian). Swiss Federal Statistical Office; Konferenz der kantonalen Justiz- und Polizeidirektoren. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  2. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index 2014: Results". Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Transparency International. 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren; Verurteilungen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene; Verurteilungen 2013 - 2014" (official federal site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  4. ^ a b "Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren; Verurteilungen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene; Verurteilte Personen 2014" (official federal site) (in German and French). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  5. ^ Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  6. ^ Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  7. ^ a b c Kriminalität, Strafvollzug – Daten, Indikatoren: Verurteile Personen: Jugendliche und Erwachsene (German) accessed 5 April 2016
  8. ^ Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  9. ^ Federal Department of Justice and Police study
  10. ^ Neue Statistik: Tamilen sind krimineller als Ex-Jugoslawen, Tages-Anzeiger 12 September 2010.
  11. ^ so Alard du Bois-Reymond, director of the Federal Office for Migration, see e.g. Blick, 12 September 2010.
  12. ^ Blaney, Colin (2014). Undesirables. John Blake. p. 158. ISBN 978-1782198970. 
  13. ^ data from Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  14. ^ aged 20–39; data from Swiss Federal Statistics Office
  15. ^ "Swiss approve foreign criminal initiative". Swissinfo. 28 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 

External links[edit]