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Crime per capita rises two years running

police caution tape cyprus
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Crime per capita in Cyprus has risen for the second consecutive year, according to the police’s annual statistics report.

The report shows that the “crime index”, the ratio of the number of verified cases of serious offences reported to the police per 100,000 inhabitants, was calculated to be 584 in 2022.

This represents a significant increase on the figure of 501 recorded in 2021, which itself was higher than the 2020 figure of 482.

In gross terms, the number of serious offences reported to the police in 2022 was 5,402, of which 5,332 were verified as genuine. This was over 800 higher than the previous year’s figure of 4,580, of which 4,512 were verified as genuine.

In both 2022 and 2021, offences against property constituted the largest group of offences, accounting for 39.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent of all serious offences respectively.

Offences which were “injurious to the public in general” were the second-most frequent type of offence during both years, at 19.4 per cent in 2022 and 19.5 per cent in 2021.

Of the 5,332 verified genuine cases of serious offences which took place in 2022, a total of 4,868 victims were recorded, 1,053 of which were legal entities.

This leaves a total of 3,815 victims who were natural persons, of whom 78.3 per cent were citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Of the rest, 7.2 per cent were citizens of other European Union member states, while 14.5 per cent were citizens of third countries.

On the matter of offenders, a total of 6,917 were convicted of serious offences in 2022, of which 6,885 were “natural persons”. Only 961 of those – 14 per cent – were female.

The police said this “reflects the fact that the involvement of women in serious crime remains relatively small compared to that of men.”

Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus were a smaller proportion of offenders than they were victims, at 56.4 per cent of all offenders. Citizens of other EU member states made up 11.4 per cent of offenders, while third country nationals accounted for 32.2 per cent.

Cypriots accounted for an even lower proportion of the island’s 713 convicted juvenile delinquents in 2022, with 54 per cent of juvenile delinquents being from Cyprus. Just 8.4 per cent of juvenile delinquents in 2022 were girls.

Of those behind bars, the majority had been sentenced to 18 months in prison or fewer, with the median sentence length of prisoners in 2022 counted at 9.6 months. However, the actual sentence length tends to be lower, with the median stay behind bars being 4.1 months.

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