Swiss crime rate above European average: study

Switzerland's crime rate is rising and reaching levels above the European average, said a study released on Tuesday.

“We have noted a big increase in assaults and robberies in Switzerland and we have slightly surpassed the European average,” Martin Killias, a criminologist at the University of Zurich and the author of the study told AFP.  

“This means that half of European countries have better results than Switzerland,” he explained.  

Based on a survey of 2,000 people between 2006 and 2010, Killias said that 7.1 percent of respondents had reported being burgled at home, compared to 5.1 percent in 2004 when the previous study was released.  

Such burglaries “are more and more organized and now even cross borders” and are thus no longer a uniquely national phenomenon, he explained.  

Killias said that the recent surge in the price of gold was encouraging thieves to look for jewellery “which can be found in any apartment”.  

Assaults and threats have also risen, affecting over 10 percent of respondents compared to 7.2 percent in 2004, he said.  

“This is due to the crazy evolution of the Swiss nightlife, which does not have any equal in Europe,” Killias said.  

“This nocturnal society” which consumes more alcohol is the main cause of the spike in assault figures, which did not include domestic abuse, he claimed.

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