By Nick Theodoulou
Cyprus ranked 21 out of 29 European countries for police-recorded intentional homicides in 2017, according to Eurostat figures released on Wednesday.
With a rate of 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, Cyprus is slightly higher than Greece’s 0.7 but well below Europe’s top country for murders – Latvia – which has 5.6 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
Malta appears to be an anomaly among the Mediterranean nations coming in at fourth with a murder rate of 2.0 per 100,000.
There were around 5,200 recorded murders in the EU in 2017 the most recent year on record, a reduction of 19 per cent since 2008, Eurostat figures show.
But since 2017, Cyprus has suffered its first and only recorded serial killings. Earlier this year Nicos Metaxas confessed and was handed down seven life sentences for murdering five women and two girls. This will clearly impact future data for Cyprus.
Due to its small population Cyprus is likely to witness sharp increases or decreases in the murder rate.
The World Bank recorded 2005 and 2012 as the worst years in Cyprus since 1990 with murder rates of 1.9. In comparison, 1991 marked the lowest recorded rate of murder in Cyprus at 0.1.