Last year crime figures lowest since 2000

Criminality keeps on decreasing. Marc de Mesmaeker, the general commissioner for the Federal police unveiled on Friday the last figures of reported crimes, which has decreased by about 3.2% from 2016 to 2017.

But these gross figures are actually quite meaningless unless properly examined. First of all, it seems international figures are getting better and better. Sarah Frederickx, from the Federal police, indeed explained VRT last week there is a sort of phenomenon of “international crime drop”, and many countries are also making improvements with regard to safety and the fight against crime.

Our current way of life also can be a reason of those improvements. “We have more CCTV cameras in public places, better technology for prevention, alertness has been up both among police and civilians, and it has simply become harder to commit a crime”, Frederickx added. The use of social networks also might be a factor. While there is no direct answer, it is still worth wondering such a question.

By Raf24~commonswiki [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, despite this positive trend, murders or murder attempts have been growing for about 9.1% from 2016 to 2017 (+96 cases have been recorded). It is actually a record since figures were  published in 2000.

Last but not least, cyber-criminality as well as online fraud have also been increasing recently. There are fewer concerns with regard to immediate danger, but this trend is alarming while the society is becoming more and more digital. On Friday, both Jan Jambon, the Federal minister for home affairs, and Koen Geens, the Federal minister for justice, pointed out the need for more means to be provided resources for police to tackle that scourge. “Hiring is desirable”, Jan Jambon told Radio 1-VRT.

While it is necessary to have a look at general figures on reported crimes, the current and upcoming challenges should therefore be taken into account while implementing policies.