Above Property Crimes: More Reports, More Investigations

After a sharp decline during the years of the coronavirus pandemic, advertising has now returned to pre-pandemic levels. According to Interior Minister Gerhard Garner (ÖVP), 528,010 crimes will be reported to the police in 2023. Most ads fall into five categories.

According to Garner, there were a total of 528,010 police reports in 2023. The largest areas of crime statistics are divided into five sectors: Property crimes were reported most frequently, 162,242 times.

Graphics: APA/ORF; Source: Ministry of Home Affairs

This is followed by white-collar crime with 103,330 offences, with fraud offenses being the largest. Last year, 85,374 violent crimes were reported. Cybercrime attracted 65,864 reports and organized crime 40,333 reports.

Home Minister looks at “cybercrime trend”.

According to these statistics, 12.5 percent of all crimes committed online last year. In addition to classic economic crimes such as fraud, it also applies to violent crimes such as dangerous threats and intimidation. 34,069 reports related to fraudulent activities on the Internet, 17,154 fraudulent data processing misuse, 3,891 threats and 2,245 child abuse or sexual depictions of minors.

Federal Criminal Police Office Director Andreas Holzer, Interior Minister Gerhard Garner and General Director of Public Security Franz Ruf

APA/Georg Hochmuth

Representatives of the Ministry of Interior presented the previous year's advertising figures on Monday.

“Cybercrime continues to trend,” Garner said. Regarding the high number of reports in the area of ​​cybercrime, the Ministry of Home Affairs also mentions appropriate educational campaigns through which crimes are more commonly reported.

Graphic about crime in Austria

Graphics: APA/ORF; Source: Ministry of Home Affairs

Authorities also recorded an increase in “classic” crimes such as shoplifting and theft with stolen ATM cards. Andreas Holzer, head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, attributed the increase in this area to more “criminal travel groups” coming to Austria from abroad after the pandemic ended. As compared to a decade ago, there are no incidents of robbery. Last year there were nine — “Ten years ago there were still 80 robberies a year,” Garner said.

Reports of trafficking have decreased significantly

In 2023, reported trafficking offenses also decreased. With 4,704 trafficking reports in 2023, the number has halved compared to 9,186 reports in 2022. According to the Ministry of Interior, this is also due to the use of wide-ranging measures such as “Operation Fox”. During the operation, Austrian police officers were stationed there in cooperation with authorities in Hungary.

The clearance rate has increased by eight percent

The number of solved cases has increased significantly. Last year 276,043 ads were resolved – an increase of 20,867 or eight per cent compared to 2022. Police were able to identify more suspects. 329,991 suspects were identified. This is about ten percent more than the previous year.

77 percent were men. 13.4 percent were under 18 years of age, 54.5 percent were 18 to 40 years of age, and 32.3 percent were 40 years of age and above. 179,488 suspects (55 percent) were Austrians, 150,481 or 45 percent came from other countries, most of them 17,990 from Romania, 14,727 from Germany and 11,067 from Serbia.

Garner offers a five-point package

According to Interior Minister Garner, several measures can be taken from the figures just presented. He also presented a set of radio spots on Monday. Garner said the implementation of the Criminal Service reform focused on cybercrime implemented last year should be continued. This means 38 new criminal assistance services in all regions of Austria and more than 700 additional jobs over the next few years.

Garner's second point is measures against traffickers. “Smugglers avoid Austria,” the minister said, referring to measures against the crime of smuggling. The third point deals with juvenile delinquency, such as the establishment of a relevant task force. Garner announced that discussions on criminal liability and arms embargoes would continue in this context.

In the area of ​​theft crime – point four – there should be more focused actions in the future. The fifth point deals with foreign crime. “Some nationalities are obvious, and it is necessary to set priority measures here,” Garner said.

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