The number of violent crimes recorded in Brussels in 2019 was at all all-time low, according to figures released by the prosecutor’s office, according to La Dernière Heure.
The number of premeditated murders and cases of manslaughter remained the same as in 2018, at 31, but cases of attempted murder and manslaughter were down from 183 in 2018 to 139 last year – a fall of some 25%.
Taking both crimes together – the more serious charge of premeditated murder and the more mitigated charge of manslaughter – the figures show a fairly constant decline in recent years: 87 in 2014; 60 in 2015; 46 in 2016; 43 in 2017; 31 in 2018 and the same in 2019.
In most of the violent crimes investigated, a person was charged. The crimes are recorded according to the initial charge laid, which may possibly change during the course of the investigation – for example if some mitigating factor is revealed which would alter the degree of the crime. In the end, the prosecutor’s office points out, the charge which ultimately goes to court is a matter for the prosecutor to determine. As a rule of thumb, the choice often goes not to the most serious charge, but to the one with the best chance of success.