The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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14,933 criminal offences reported in 2022, 5.4% decrease from previous year

Semira Abbas Shalan Monday, 6 February 2023, 17:01 Last update: about 3 months ago

14,933 criminal offences were reported in 2022 according to CrimeMalta Observatory's Annual Crime Review, which translates into a 5.4% decrease when compared to the 2021 figures.

This figure, the reports reads, is "the lowest figure in the past decade (bar the anomalous Covid 2020 figures)."

A government statement also said that this was the lowest crime rate registered in 15 years. While there were years with lower numbers of crime reports within that 15 year-period, the crime rate takes the population numbers into account, and Malta has a higher population now than it had in those years and thus a lower crime rate, this newsroom was informed.


In 2004, there were 45 criminal offences per 1000 persons. 2012 saw a decrease, with 37 criminal offences reported per 1000 persons, and 2022 saw 28 criminal offences per 1000 persons.

Domestic violence and theft were among the prevalent crimes which increased last year when compared to 2021. In 2021, there were 1,741 domestic violence cases, which saw a 5% increase in 2022. 1,830 cases of domestic violence were brought before the courts in 2022. The number skyrocketed when compared to the 450 cases in 2004, and 1,028 cases registered in 2012. 

Addressing the press conference, Professor Saviour Formosa said that projections had predicted over 20,000 offences for 2022. This did not happen as a result of the work being done by law enforcement authorities, he said.

The report showed that murders committed between 2018 and 2022 have all seen the alleged perpetrators arraigned in court. The rate of homicide remained stable at 1.7% for every 100,000 between 2004 and 2022.

There were 1,562 cases of fraud reported in 2022, a 34% decrease from the previous year, the report shows.

Drug-related crimes returned to the pre-2020 average, the report read, decreasing by 393 cases in 2022 after an increase of 435 between 2020 and 2021.

Violent crimes decreased when compared to 2012, with 361 cases in 2022 when compared to 391 cases registered in 2012.

Thefts rose in 2022 by 134 reports when compared to 2021. However, when compared 2012 the number has decreased by 47%. 4,612 cases of theft were reported in 2022, compared to 8,690 in 2012 and 11,465 in 2004.

Cases of arson also decreased by 73% when compared to 2004, where 120 cases were registered. In 2022, 33 cases of arson were registered.

There was an increase in crimes of bodily harm, where 847 cases were registered in 2022 (a 14% increase when compared to 2021 when there were 742 cases).

The report concluded that there were no large abnormalities in criminal offences between localities, however the statistics increase slightly in the localities of Floriana, Valletta, Bormla and Zejtun.

In 2004, there were 45 criminal offences per 1000 persons. 2012 saw a decrease, with 37 criminal offences reported per 1000 persons, and 2022 saw 28 criminal offences per 1000 person.

Crimes which increased between 2004 and 2022 included computer misuse, fraud, perjury and false swearing, threats and private violence and abuse of public authority, in descending percentage change order.

Crimes that increased between 2012 and 2022 are abuse of public authority, pornography, fraud, threats and private violence and immigration.

The report showed that crimes which decreased between 2004 and 2022 were those of arson, attempted offences, prostitution, immigration, and theft, whilst between 2012 and 2022, there was a decrease in prostitution, violation of places of confinement, arson, theft, and attempted offences.

During the press conference, representative from the National Statistics Office Alexia Young presented a survey on the public's perception of the Malta Police Force.

The survey showed that more hand half (55%) of the public have a positive opinion on the police force, with 36% remaining neutral, and almost 9% having a negative perception of the police force.

44.9% of the respondents said that they fully trust the police force, whilst 45.1% said that they moderately trust the force. Almost 10% do not trust the police in Malta. Reasons as to why respondents did not trust the police included that they do not often see police around them.

Police Commissioner Gafa said that the police force has pledged to focus on public trust through its Transformation Strategy 2020-2025.

Gafa said that these past few years, community policing increased, with 75% of localities being covered.

He continued that apart from the NSO survey, last September, the Eurobarometer showed results which are parallel to the EU average for best public trust rating since 2010. Gafa said that the police force is pushing for efficiency and trust, with 28 police stations open 24/7 around the island.

Briefly commenting on drug trafficking results, comparing 2021 and 2022, there was an increase of 22% in prosecutions, as well as double the cash seizures related to drug trafficking.

This resulted in a seizure of half a million euros compared to the previous year. There was also an increase of 36% in prosecutions of money laundering in relation to drug trafficking, as well as an increase of 43% in seizures of drug importations by post, and an increase of 67% in seizures of drug importations by couriers.

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri addressed the press conference, saying that criminal offences are condemnable, and all measures must be taken to ensure a safe society.

Camilleri said that new trends of crime must be observed to clearly understand crime rates. On domestic violence, Camilleri noted that there was an increase, and encouraged victims to speak up and report these cases to the police.

Camilleri said that government will continue to invest in the police force.

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