Switzerland saw dramatic increase in crime in 2023, FSO data reveals

Switzerland saw dramatic increase in crime in 2023, FSO data reveals

New data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has revealed that crime rates in Switzerland rose dramatically in 2023. For some types of crime, a record number of offences were recorded by Swiss police last year.

More than half a million crimes reported in Switzerland

According to the data, 522.558 crimes were recorded by the emergency services in Switzerland in 2023, a 14 percent rise compared to the year before. This amounts to the second rise in crime in two years after rates dropped dramatically due to COVID-related rules and restrictions in 2020 and 2021.

The higher crime rates were mainly blamed on a significant increase in so-called property crimes, with 17,6 percent more cases reported in 2023 than in 2022. 70 percent of all crimes reported in Switzerland last year were property-related, half of which were theft. 

Rates of theft and cyber crime soar

Rates of theft from or of a vehicle saw the strongest increases last year at +71,4 percent, up to 18.192 incidents - the highest figures reported since national statistics were introduced in 2009. 41.429 burglaries were reported across Swiss cities and cantons last year, averaging 114 incidents a day. 

2023 also saw a strong increase in digital crimes at 43.839 incidents, a 31,5 percent increase compared to the year before. The main reasons for the dramatic increase were more cases of phishing attacks (+69,8 percent), the misuse of online payment systems (+66,1 percent) and goods paid for but not delivered on classified advertising platforms (+23,1 percent). In contrast, cyber sexual crime rates fell by 7,4 percent compared to 2022.

Crime rate in Switzerland remains average

In total, 90.403 people were accused of a crime in Switzerland last year. The number of minors accused increased by 4,2 percent, young adults by 3,7 percent and adults by 4,5 percent.

However, needs to be noted that in a wider European context, crime rates in Switzerland remain around average. With approximately 5.806 crimes committed per 100.000 people per year, rates in the alpine nation are lower than in Germany (6.762 per 100.000, 2022), but more than in the Netherlands (approx 4.550 per 100.000, 2022).

Swiss police continue to struggle with staff shortages

Speaking at a press conference after the data was released, Mark Burkhard, President of the Conference of Cantonal Police Commanders (KKPKS), said that the increase in crime “is placing considerable demands on the Swiss police corps.” KKPKS spokesperson Adrian Gaugler said that the only way to reduce crime was to put more police on the streets, “But this is becoming increasingly difficult because many corps are at their limit in terms of personnel.”

For more information, check out the official FSO data.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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