Crime in Belgium - Statistics & Facts

In the first half of 2019, over 400 thousand crimes were registered by the Belgian Federal Police. Although these figures only reflect reported and recorded crimes, in 2019, roughly 11 thousand people were incarcerated in Belgium. 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 and across the three regions of the country. While the overall number of crimes in Belgium’s regions decreased steadily from 2011 to 2019, their occurrence varied mostly by type of offense. Over this period, crimes against one’s property or physical integrity mostly diminished, whereas drug-related crimes and cybercrime were on the rise.

The Belgian Federal Police registered decreasing reports of property crime between 2009 to 2019. During this period, burglaries decreased, reaching 67 thousand cases in 2018. Pickpocketing also went down, falling to 26 thousand in 2018. In addition, vehicle theft dropped during this time. In 2018, there were roughly 31 thousand stolen bike cases and 7,6 thousand stolen cars, most of which were Volkswagens. On the other hand, debit card fraud and extortion figures did not decrease in Belgium. Card fraud cases ranged from 5 to 9 thousand cases from 2008 to 2018 and over 3 thousand reported extorsions were filed each year in the country.

Between 2008 and 2019, the Belgian police registered contrasting figures for crimes against physical integrity. Indeed, while crimes such as physical violence, murder, and manslaughter decreased overall, a slight increase in cases occured in 2018. For instance, roughly 77 thousand physical violence cases were filed in 2009, against 72 thousand in 2018. Family violence reports also decreased in Belgium during this period. On the other hand, murder and manslaughter cases rose from 800 in 2008 to 1,200 in 2018.

In Belgium, from 2012 to 2018, an increasing number of drug-related crimes were registered by the police. While possession offenses escalated from 27 thousand cases in 2009 to 42.5 cases in 2018, drug dealing remained between 7 to 8 thousand cases per year. Similarly, since 2011, around 19 to 20 thousand alcohol abuse cases were filed annually by the Belgian Federal Police.

According to police reports, a relatively new form of crime in Belgium has been on the rise. Between 2008 to 2018, cybercrime cases have indeed multiplied in the country. In 2018, cases peaked at 24.5 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 pornography, money laundering, or incitement to terrorism. Nonetheless, Belgium had the lowest index score of money laundering and terrorist financing in the Benelux.

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Crime in Belgium

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Crime in Belgium" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Property crimes in Belgium

Violent crimes in Belgium

Drug-related crimes in Belgium

Cyber-crime in Belgium

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