Crime figures reach 18-year low

Reported crime in Belgium keeps going down. Statistics for last year - a 3.2 percent drop on the year - confirm a trend which has been going on for some time. In fact, last year's figures were the lowest since 2000. Ten years ago, we had over a million cases of reported crime, last year had about 860,000. But it's not all good news. 

Sarah Frederickx of the federal police says there are several possible explanations for the drop. First of all, Belgium is not the only country with a good report, as there is such a thing as "an international crime drop".

"We have more CCTV cameras in public places, better technology for prevention, alertness has been up both among police and civilians, and it has simply become harder to commit a crime. At the same time, we are organising our lives more online, with youngsters coming out less and using more social media. These are possible explanations", says Frederickx. 

Internet fraud went up 6 percent, grooming almost 20 percent

While most types of crime are dropping - like house burglaries - cyber crime and internet fraud are up. Internet fraud went up almost 6 percent on the year, grooming some 20 percent. Frederickx underlines more people should be recruited to combat these types of offences.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon is happy with the general fugures, but realises there is more work to do. "Cyber crime, internet fraud and people smuggling demand our full attention. We should do everything possible to keep two steps ahead of criminals." Jambon confirms that the best ICT specialists should be recruited, one of the options is offering them a generous wage package.