Statistics from Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office show a dramatic fall in the number of crimes during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.
Across all of 2020, 421,678 crimes were recorded, 2.4% fewer than the year before. Drug crimes (-9%), immigration crimes (-12%) and burglaries (-10%) were all down.
At the same time violent crimes rose 3%, in particular serious acts of violence (+9%), which were driven up by suicide attempts (+22%), rape (+5%) and serious bodily injury (+5%). Vehicle and electric bike thefts both rose by 15% as did threats and violence against public figures and members of the administration (+8%), which reached a record level in 2020.
During the first wave of the pandemic, crime numbers were down sharply. The number of crimes committed during the 7 weeks between 16 March and 4 May 2020, was 33% lower than the average over the same period of the last three years. This was driven mainly by falling drug crime (-31%), immigration related crime (-54%) and burglaries (-67%). With much of the country working from home, burglars stayed away.
During this same 7-week period, violent crimes were also down (-13%), with a few exceptions such as domestic violence (+5%). Over this 7-week period 78 more acts of domestic violence were reported than the prior 3-year average over the same period.
In 2020, for the first time, digital crimes were recorded. Across the year, there were 24,398 digital crimes, of which 16,395 involved online fraud.
Statistical Office data (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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