17 July 2007
BRUSSELS – More than a million crimes were reported in Belgium last year, according to figures from the federal police.
This signals a 4.5-percent increase in the crime rate compared to 2005. There was a particularly strong increase in the number of incidents of domestic violence, car and home burglaries and vandalism.
There are a number of reasons for the increase in reported crime. Some forms of crime are receiving more attention now that they have been included in the national Safety Plan. As a result reports are filed more quickly. The public is also reporting these crimes more often.
Domestic violence especially was reported more often last year. No fewer than 25,617 cases were reported, an increase of 13 percent in one year. 50 percent of cases involved violence between (ex) partners. 20 percent of cases involved violence against a minor.
2,793 cases of sexual abuse were reported last year, 8 percent more than in the previous year. The most worrying aspect is the increase among young people aged 10 to 16. The number of car and home burglaries rose by 11 percent in 2006.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news