Crimes in 2020: more cyber fraud, extortion and disobedience; less pickpocketing and physical security violations

Computer fraud, extortion and home theft are among the crimes that have increased in 2020, while pickpocketing and violations of physical integrity are among the crimes announced this Tuesday.

At a press conference to present the general data on the 2020 Annual Internal Security Report (RASI), Internal Security System Secretary-General Helena Fazenda stated that among general crime, the biggest decreases in theft through pickpocketing of unsaved items have been recorded , Violation of simple voluntary physical integrity, driving a vehicle with alcohol tax, counterfeiting and counterfeiting of currencies, and counterfeiting, damage and theft in a commercial building.

“All of these criminal typologies showed a pretty sharp decrease,” he added, noting that domestic violence decreased by about 6%.

In relation to general crime, there has been an increase in crimes of computer fraud and communication, unauthorized driving, other fraud, disobedience and theft in an area attached to the residence over the past year.

Helena Fazenda stated that the rise in the crime of disobedience is the result of interference by security forces in control of the measures taken in states of emergency due to the pandemic and that the rise in computer and communications fraud is also linked to restriction.

In terms of violent crimes and serious crime, rape crimes, serious physical integrity violations, kidnapping, kidnapping and hostage-taking, and theft in public transport have been the largest declines in crime, the secretary-general of Homeland Security said.

In turn, crimes of resistance and coercion among civil servants, extortion and theft of residence, and murders increased.

Helena Fazenda claimed that the number of crimes that were decreasing was “significantly higher” than those that were increasing.

The official said the increase in the crime of resistance and coercion among an official “has a direct impact on the operation of the local security forces and services and their work to control and monitor the measures imposed” in 2020 because of the pandemic.

However, he stressed that the measures imposed were generally accepted by the population and that this increase “does not cause concern” despite a direct link to this fact.

“The lowest crime rates”

Regarding murders, Helena Fazenda said there were four more in the past year, from 89 in 2019 to 93.

General crime as well as violent and serious crime decreased in Lisbon and Oporto districts. The Autonomous Region of the Azores has seen an increase in general crime due to computer fraud, as well as in violent and serious cases. The counties of Castelo Branco and Setúbal also increased in violence and serious crime.

At the press conference held after the RASI 2020 was presented and approved at the Supreme Internal Security Council, the Minister of Internal Affairs said that in 2020 Portugal had “the lowest crime rates” since the annual Internal Security Report in 1989.

The minister said general crime had decreased by about 11% over the past year compared to 2019, and the number of violent and serious crime had decreased by more than 13%.

According to the government, “there was a link between states of emergency” and “the greatest reduction in the incidence of criminal phenomena” because of the pandemic.

RASI will be handed over by the government to the Assembly of the Republic on Wednesday.

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