[WATCH] Crime rate down 10% over past three years

Reports of crime have seen a 2.1% drop in 2019 and a decrease of 10% over a three year period

Malta's crime rate dropped by 2.1% last year compared to 2018, a police annual report shows.

Statistics published on Friday from the police's annual crime report show that, over a three year period, the rate of reported crime decreased by 10%.

Malta's crime rate, at 31 instances of crime for every 1,000 inhabitants, also compares favourably to the EU average, which stands at 59 cases per 1,000.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Home Affairs minister Byron Camilleri said that Malta "remained one of the safest places in the EU."

"The statistics also reflect positively on the police corps and its work and strategy," he said.

Less pick-pocketing, more sexual offences

Over the past three years, pick-pocketing reports dropped by 66.5%. 

The number of thefts from vehicles, however, rose by 66% over the same period, and thefts from residence increased by 4%.

The rate of reported sexual offences went up by 21% over the past three years.

Over the same period, drug offences and computer crimes went down by 54% and 17% respectively, fraud saw a 20% drop and there was a marginal 1% decrease in reported domestic violence cases.

Moreover, St Julian's reported the lowest rate of crime in 15 years.

Community policing to be extended

Camilleri said that as the country and its society changed, the police corps also had to adapt.

In this regard, he said that the drive to involve local councils, the commercial community and citizens in law enforcement was increasing.

The community policing initiative, which had started as a pilot project in Mellieħa, would now be extended to other localities including Valletta, Floriana, Swieqi, Pembroke, Rabat, Dingli, Mdina, Marsaxlokk, and Fgura, the minister said.

"In the past weeks, amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have asked for the idea of collective responsibility to become more ingrained. I hope that, once the pandemic passes, the spirit of collective responsibility will remain in place," he said.