Traditional forms of crime continued to fall last year in Belgium, unlike cybercrime, and in particular types of online fraud. The revelation came on Friday, in La Dernière Heure and Het Laatste Nieuws, from Marc De Mesmaeker who is the new Commissioner General for the Federal Police.
Last year, there were thus far less burglaries. These have decreased by 6.6% to 52,816 offences. Viewing crime from an overall perspective across Belgium, which exceeded one million cases four years ago, the figure only reached 860,604 in 2017.
Between 2016 and last year, the most spectacular fall occurred in the sphere of terrorism, extremism and radicalism. The figure went from 781 to 489 crimes. Such crimes mainly related to participation in terrorist group activities and the spread of hateful propaganda. The phenomenon is stabilising somewhat, there having been 402 incidents in 2014.
On the other hand cybercrime has increased, going from 43,800 cases in 2016 to 44,165 within a year. Incidents of grooming, consisting in sexual propositions to minors using electronic means (social networks and other methods), for example increased by 19% between 2016 and 2017.
Internet fraud climbed by nearly 6%. As did the use of intimate images spread without the agreement of the individuals featuring on the given photos, most often of a sexual nature.