Crime Rates and Statistics in Malta: An Overview
Malta is a beautiful Mediterranean island nation with a rich history and culture. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning architecture, picturesque beaches, and delicious cuisine. But like any other country, Malta has also had its share of crime problems. In this article, we will explore the crime rates and statistics in Malta, and try to gauge the safety of its residents and visitors.
Crime Rates in Malta: An Introduction
Malta has a relatively low crime rate compared to many other countries, especially the major cities of Europe and the United States. According to the latest statistics (2019) released by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, Malta’s rate of recorded crime per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 1,669. This is lower than the EU average of 3,493, and significantly lower than countries like Sweden (7,938) and Belgium (7,399).
However, it is important to note that crime rates in Malta have been increasing in recent years. There has been a rise in burglaries, thefts, and drug-related crimes. The Maltese authorities have taken steps to address these issues, including increasing police presence in certain areas and implementing stricter laws and penalties.
Types of Crime in Malta
Based on the latest data available, the most common types of crime in Malta are theft and related offenses, which include pickpocketing, shoplifting, and burglary. These account for over 60% of all recorded crimes. Drug offenses come next, with around 15% of all recorded crimes falling under this category. Other types of crime in Malta include violence against a person, criminal damage to property, and fraud and forgery.
Crime Trends in Malta
As mentioned earlier, crime rates in Malta have been increasing in recent years. According to the Malta Police Force’s Annual Statistical Review, the total number of recorded crimes in 2019 was 13,673, up by 6.3% from the previous year. Theft and related offenses saw the biggest increase, rising by 18.7%. Drug offenses also increased significantly (+16.8%), while instances of fraud and forgery decreased (-3.4%).
Crime Prevention Measures in Malta
The Maltese authorities have implemented a range of measures to prevent and combat crime. These include:
– Increased police presence in certain areas, particularly tourist hotspots and areas with high crime rates.
– The establishment of specialized police task forces to tackle specific types of crime, such as drug offenses and human trafficking.
– The use of technology, such as CCTV cameras and electronic monitoring systems, to monitor public spaces and track criminal activity.
– Stricter laws and penalties for certain types of crime, including harsher sentences for drug offenses and mandatory imprisonment for repeat offenders.
– Community outreach programs, such as educational campaigns and neighborhood watch initiatives.
Q: Is Malta a safe country to visit?
A: Yes, Malta is generally considered to be a safe country for tourists. However, visitors should still exercise caution in certain areas, particularly at night, and keep an eye on their belongings.
Q: What is the crime rate in Malta compared to other European countries?
A: Malta has a lower crime rate compared to many other European countries, although it has been increasing in recent years.
Q: What are the most common types of crime in Malta?
A: Theft and related offenses (including pickpocketing, shoplifting, and burglary) are the most common types of crime in Malta, followed by drug offenses.
Q: What measures are being taken to combat crime in Malta?
A: The Maltese authorities have implemented a range of measures, including increased police presence, specialized task forces, technology-based solutions, stricter laws and penalties, and community outreach programs.
In conclusion, while Malta may not be immune to crime, it is generally considered to be a safe and welcoming country for visitors. The Maltese authorities have taken steps to address the rise in certain types of crime, and will no doubt continue to do so in the coming years. As always, visitors should exercise caution and common sense, particularly in larger cities and tourist areas.