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Crime in Belgium - Statistics & Facts

In the first half of 2021, over 420 thousand crimes were registered by the Belgian Federal Police, although these figures only reflect reported and recorded crimes. Because laws and practices vary between jurisdictions, comparing crime statistics between countries can be difficult. Nonetheless, the Belgian police combines a local and federal entity. Both operate on different levels across the three regions of the country. The overall number of crimes in Belgium increased in 2020 and the same can be said in Belgium’s regions as crime increased in each region of Belgium. The type of crime varied significantly, as the most common types of registered crimes were theft and extortion, and crimes against public health, of which most crimes were likely pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its restrictions on society. As of this year, approximately 93.6 per 100,000 inhabitants were incarcerated in Belgium.

Types of crime in Belgium

The Belgian Federal Police registered decreasing reports of property crime between 2009 to 2020. During this period, burglaries decreased, reaching around 63 thousand cases in 2019. In addition, vehicle theft dropped during this time. In 2019, there were roughly 31 thousand stolen bike cases seven thousand stolen cars over the same period, most of which were Volkswagens. On the other hand, debit card fraud and extortion figures fluctuated significantly in Belgium. Card fraud cases ranged from around five to 12 thousand cases from 2008 to 2019 and over 3 thousand reported extorsions were filed each year since 2012 in the country.

In Belgium, from 2012 to 2020, an increasing number of drug-related crimes were registered by the police. While possession offenses escalated from 25.2 thousand cases in 2008 to 47.1 thousand cases in 2020, drug dealing remained between six thousand and nine thousand cases per year. Similarly, until 2019, around 19 to 21 thousand alcohol abuse cases were filed annually by the Belgian Federal Police, whilst in 2020 this dropped to around 16 thousand registered cases.

Between 2008 and 2020, the Belgian police registered contrasting figures for crimes against physical integrity. Indeed, crimes such as physical violence, murder, and manslaughter have remained relatively steady over the years. For instance, roughly 78 thousand physical violence cases were filed in 2009 against 72 thousand in 2019, whilst in 2020 this dropped to around 63 thousand. Family violence reports decreased in Belgium during this period, to around 10.6 thousand cases registered by the police.

Rising cybercrime

According to police reports, a relatively new form of crime in Belgium has been on the rise. Between 2008 and 2020, cybercrime cases have multiplied in the country. In 2020, cases peaked at over 44 thousand reported crimes. Computerized forgery, fraud, hacking, and sabotage are classified as cybercrime. Yet, in a broader view, other crimes can be cyber-crimes if virtually perpetrated, such as harassment, voyeurism, child sex abuse, money laundering, or incitement to terrorism. Nonetheless, Belgium had the lowest index score of money laundering and terrorist financing in the Benelux.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Crime in Belgium".

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