Reported crime in St Julian’s at all-time low since 2004

National crime stats show reported crime in St Julian’s down to 1,800 reports from 3,100 in 2012

St Julian's is traditionally a hotpost for theft due to the high concentration of tourists
St Julian's is traditionally a hotpost for theft due to the high concentration of tourists

Crime in Malta is “visibly decreasing”, criminologist Saviour Formosa declared during the presentation of the 2017 annual crime report.

The crime report shows a decrease in criminality related to prostitution, abuse of public authority and sexual offences, however it has shown an increase in homicide, violence against public officers, and drug crimes.

“Crime is visibly decreasing despite public perception, I am not a politician and this perception irritates me. I am ready to give raw data to sustain this,” Formosa said.

Home Affairs minister Michael Farrugia said the report would help the police in their work by enabling stakeholders to better understand patterns related to criminality in Malta. 

“Using this report we can better understand the ways criminals operate, making targeted policing easier so we can prevent criminality from occurring,” Farrugia said.

Farrugia said his ministry will launch a campaign that aims to educate the general public on preventing petty crimes such as pickpocketing. 

The minister also stated that stricter policing had been deployed in certain localities with results clearly visible in places such as St Julian’s which saw a decrease of police reports from 3,100 in 2012 to 1,800 in 2017.

The crime report was compiled by Saviour Formosa through the CrimeMalta Observatory and is based on data from monthly police reports. 

A total of 17,136 reported offences were reported in 2017 showing a decrease of 162 crimes in comparison with 2016.

Mdina ranked first as being the locality most prone to criminality, hosting five times the national rate of offences, pipping St Julian’s which has now fallen to a close second.

When asked the reason the high rate of criminality in the tiny medieval city, Formosa said that the high concentration of tourists in the town attract a certain type of criminality and such statistics are based upon the reports police received.

When compared to other European Union (EU) states Malta ranks higher in frequency of theft (4th) while ranking lower than the EU average in homicide (14th), assault (14th), robberies (9th), burglary (16th), drugs (20th), sexual offences (12th), rape (15th) and sexual assault (13th). 

Malta also has the highest number of police officers per 100,000 individuals in Europe.

Formosa said that despite the expectation of an increase in crime due to the ever-growing population of both nationals and tourists, a trend of a decrease in reported crime was noted.

He said that an unprecedented increase in fraud was also noticed with a 57% increase over the previous year. Violence against public officers also increase with a total of 142 cases being registered.  

Domestic violence kept the figure of 7% of all criminality with the localities of Bormla, Xghajra, Isla, Marsaxlokk and Safi being the most prone to such offences.

Formosa also said that Corradino Correctional Facility, Malta’s main incarceration centre, had reached its ‘psychological capacity threshold’ of 600  inmates behind bars in 2017, an increase on 46 over the previous year.

When analysing the countries from which criminals originated from, patterns have revealed that social, political and demographic changes all affect the source of criminality. 

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