Crime increases 13% in 2013 following trend since 2009
The crime rate during 2013 saw the highest year‐on‐year jump since 1998 in reported crimes with Damages mainly responsible for this increase, CrimeMalta reported.
Thefts saw a jump of 24 per cent from the lowest recorded year in 2009 (6,800 incidences) to 8,469 in 2013. Damages constituted the main jump between 2012 and 2013 with an increase from 2,613 in 2012 to 4,658 in 2013, an increase of 78 per cent over the previous year.
Bodily Harm averages 1,052 cases per year or three incidents per day. Fraud is on the increase averaging two cases per day (626 per year in 2012) up from 359 in 2012 (one case per day) and 160 in 2004. This major increase change to a 78 per cent year‐on‐year increase from 2012 to 2013;
Following an in‐depth scientific analysis of 155,175 crimes reported from 2004 to 2013, criminologist Dr Saviour Formosa said that while theft comprises an 90,436 component, followed by 28,333 damages, the third highest and significant number relates to bodily harm at 10,521.
The rest comprise 28 different offence categories.
As part of the annual reporting process, CrimeMalta is publishing its latest findings elicited from analysis of reported crime, incarceration statistics and spatial analysis. The outputs below pertain to the closed 'accounts' for 2013 crime.
Crime analysis has seen a steady year‐on‐year incident increase from 2009 which year had experienced the lowest‐ever reported crime statistic. The increasing trend has again reached the average achieved between 1998 and 2007. Normally at 50 per cent of all crime going unreported, keeping things constant for the 1998‐2013 data the sheer potential of 15,000 'lost' offences is too large to contemplate.
The causes of this change are multi‐faceted. Social sciences point towards the relationship between crime and poverty (whether absolute or relative). As poverty increases or austerity kicks in, where disposable income decreases, crime experiences an inverse reaction in that it increases. Likewise, easy access or proximity to goods leads to an increase in crime due to the opportunity 'to pick up' that the same goods offer, as well the access to tools for use in 'new crimes' such as computer-related fraud or theft.
The studies take the form of a rate analysis, as against a count analysis, through the study of a RISC assessment (Relative Index of Spatial Crime), trend analysis and spatio‐statistical analysis. The RISC categories that show which towns suffer most from crime, or inversely are safest in Malta and Gozo, can be found below.
The analysis found that:
‐ Thefts have seen a 24 per cent jump from the lowest recorded year in 2009 (6,800 incidences) to 8,469 in 2013. However, reported theft has decreased from 2012 to 2013, the first time in four years;
‐ Damages constituted the main jump between 2012 and 2013 with an increase from 2613 in 2012
to 4658 in 2013, an increase of 78 per cent over the previous year;
‐ Bodily Harm averages 1,052 cases per year or three incidents per day (average 2004‐2013). This statistic shows a consistent occurrence every year;
‐ Fraud is on the increase averaging two cases per day (626 per year in 2012) up from 359 in 2012 (one case per day) and 160 in 2004. This major increase change to a 78 per cent year‐on‐year increase from 2012 to 2013;
‐ Computer related crime is on the increase due to victim‐awareness of the need to report and ever-ambitious offenders trying new tools, which figures have gone up from 10 in 2004 to 211 in 2013, however down from 243 in 2012;
‐ Drugs have gone up from 78 in 2004 to 208 in 2013;
‐ Abandonment of child / Infanticide has decreased to its lowest figure from 2009 to six in 2013, down from 11 in 2012;
‐ Prostitution is on the decrease, experiencing a 52 per cent drop in reported offences from 101 in 2013, which though is still high compared to the lowest ever reporting of 16 in 2004 through lower than the experienced peak of 130 in 2011;
‐ Domestic Violence has increased from 450 in 2008 to 1024 in 2013, though it has practically stabilised over the past two years;
‐ Threats and Public Violence have practically tripled from the lowest figure of 63 in 2008, the year which saw a steady increase year on year to a figure of 185 in 2013, up 31 per cent from the 141 reported in
‐ Violence against Public Officers have also practically doubled from 111 in 2004 to 262 in 2013, up from 230 in 2012, signifying a 14 per cent year‐on‐year increase.
CrimeMalta's six years of crime analysis and reporting is being enhanced with its Malta Crime Observatory Initiative that will be launched later on in the 2014 together with the major players in the field: research institutes, analysts, policy‐makers, enforcement entities and the public‐private sector.