Number of criminal punishments in Switzerland return to pre-pandemic levels

Number of criminal punishments in Switzerland return to pre-pandemic levels

In 2021, 11.315 criminal penalties were given out across Switzerland, according to new data published by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). The latest figure is a significant rise compared with 2020, when criminal penalties issued by the Swiss police fell by one-fifth during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

86 percent of those issued penalties were male

Of the 11.315 penalties issued in 2021, 86 percent went to men and 43 percent were issued to Swiss citizens. The remaining 57 percent of criminal penalties were issued to foreign nationals in Switzerland. Two-thirds of the total criminal punishments involved spending time at a correctional facility such as a prison. 

30 percent of penalties were issued for periods of community service and a further 4 percent of penalties required offenders to wear ankle tags for a length of time. The average amount of time ankle tags were worn was around 92 days and the average length of community service served was 17 days. 

Crime in Switzerland remains low

While crime in Switzerland remains low compared to the rest of the world, the nature of crimes committed in the country has changed in recent years. In 2020, during the lockdowns and restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, incidents of domestic violence between partners, ex-partners, parents, children and other family members unfortunately increased. Thankfully, figures for 2021 show that such cases reduced over the course of the last year. 

Crimes such as theft and narcotic-related offences have continued to fall in Switzerland, while serious violent offences remained stable but are still very rare. Interestingly, most people who were charged under the Swiss Criminal Code in 2021 were aged between 40 and 49, but the majority of those charged with drug offences under the Narcotics Act were aged between 20 and 24.



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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