In 2010 minors suspected of crimes featured in no fewer than 83,000 dossiers. Today the figure has been slashed by a third.
Crime expert Ellen Van Dael points out that as a result of young people's fascination with social media fewer and fewer youngsters are venturing outside nowadays.
Youth crime expert Stefaan Pleysier agrees: "More and more youngsters are sticking behind their PCs and we've noticed a slump in the figures. Our youngsters have become more law abiding or lazier. It depends how you look at it."
Jenneke Christiaens, another crime expert, takes a different view: "On social media you can do lots of things that are problematic and may not be legal. These activities may not yet show up in our figures."
It's a funny world. Nowadays youngsters have a far harder time doing anything illegal without somebody else noticing. Stefaan Pleysier: "There's more security. There are cameras everywhere and people with a smartphone who can film everything. The fear of being caught is far greater."