Recorded crime fell for the second consecutive year. In 2004 the police recorded 1.32 million offences, a reduction by 4 percent compared to one year previously. In 2003 recorded crime fell for the first time after years of sustained increase.
As the rates of recorded crime declined, clear-up rates increased to reach 279 thousand (i.e. 21 percent) in 2004.
Crimes recorded by the police
Share of crimes against property down
Recorded crime largely consists of crimes against property (63 percent), followed by public order offences and vandalism (16 percent), traffic offences (10 percent) and violent offences (9 percent). Since 1998 the share of crimes against property in total crime – 69 percent in 1998 – has gradually been reduced, whereas the share of violent offences – 6 percent in 1998 – has risen.
Recorded crime by type of crime, 2004
Cutback in thefts, burglaries and drink-drive offences
The police recorded fewer crimes against property. Thefts and burglaries dropped by 68 thousand in 2004 to 829 thousand. Recorded traffic offences dropped by 5 thousand and totalled 135 thousand; there was a notable reduction in the number of drink-drive offences.
More vandalism, threatening behaviour and violent offences
Recorded cases of vandalism decreased significantly in 2003 by 13 thousand, but rose again in 2004 by 8 percent to 175 thousand. Mainly cars were subject to vandalism (+ 4 thousand). Just like in the previous year, the number of registered violent offences rose marginally in 2004 and totalled 115 thousand in 2004. In this category threatening behaviour and physical abuse increased by 4 and 2 thousand respectively.
Top ten thefts and burglaries recorded by the police, 2004
Notable decrease in thefts from cars
In 2004 thefts from cars declined by 14 thousand, cases of pickpocketing by 12 thousand, thefts from dwellings and bicycle thefts by 8 thousand, thefts from non-residential buildings by 7 thousand and cases of shoplifting by 6 thousand.
Clear-up rate recorded crime by crime category
Crime-solving rate up
In 2004 a total of 279 thousand offences were solved by the police, 3 thousand more than in 2003. The clear-up rate rose from 20.0 to 21.1 percent. The highest clear-up rate (57 percent) is found in the category violent crimes. With 18 and 11 percent respectively, the crime-solving rates in the categories vandalism and public order offences are considerably lower.