Crime Report 2020


    • Crimes that Increased (in descending percentage change order): perjury and false swearing, immigration, abuse of public authority, prostitution, money laundering, homicide, violation of places of confinement, pornography, computer misuse, abandonment of child, crimes against public peace, pretended rights, domestic violence, threats and private violence and drugs.
  • Crimes that Decreased (in descending percentage change order): theft, attempted offences, forgery, damage, bodily harm, sexual offences, violence against public officers, arson and fraud.


  • Thefts have seen a drastic increase overall, with a drop of 31% or 2053 incidents reported. Interestingly, this decrease comes at a time when pick-pocketing, which was the heavyweight category for all reported crimes has again experienced a 70% decrease in crime when compared to 2019, a drop of 577 offences. 36 categories of theft experienced a decline whilst 9 increased, mainly armed robbery, theft from building sites and from factories by employees, vacant factories, farms and fields, government buildings, residence exterior and vacant residences, as well as theft from seacraft.

  • Theft comprises 35% of all offences, a decrease of 7.6% (2,053 cases) over the previous year’s increase of 2% from 2018 to 2019.
  • Damages decreased by 19% or 736 cases in 2020, comprising 24.5% of all offences down from 25.3% in 2018, decreasing through Involuntary Damage by Hit and Run incidents (21%) and Wilful Damage by Other (18%).

  • Bodily Harm stood at 777 cases in 2020, down from 925 cases in 2019 which results in a significant 16% decrease, reflective of the closure of recreational zones, paramount to serving as opportunity zones for such activities. The main decrease was related to Slight Bodily Harm by Physical Force (20% increase). Bodily harm has dropped to 5th place, following Theft (31% of all reported offences), Damages (24.5%), Domestic violence (12.6%), Fraud (6.2%) and Bodily Harm (5.9%).

  • Fraud has experienced a slight 1% decrease following a drastic 20% decrease between 2018 and 2019. The decrease reflects the loss of retail and commercial activity during the 2020 pandemic. Fraud still maintains a hold as one of the top 5 crimes in the Maltese Islands League of Tables, taking the 4th place above Bodily Harm.

  • Computer related crime experienced a 44% increase over the previous year, mainly through Unauthorised Access. This offence has reached 270 reported offences.
  • Drugs reporting increased by 6% (an increase of 11 cases), increasing through most of the sub-categories. This reflects Malta Police intervention, as well as customs and other agencies’ effectiveness.
  • Domestic Violence increased drastically by 24% (319 cases) from 2019, reaching the highest ever 12.6% weight of all reported crimes, since the 2007 changes in the law. The main increase occurred in Psychological Harm (316 cases – a 46% increase over 2019 to 2020) and slight increases in Slight Bodily Harm with Physical Force and Stalking.
  • Threats and Public Violence increased by 20% in 2020, (60 cases) mainly through blackmail, extortion and private violence.
  • Sexual Offences decreased by 14% (21 cases) in 2020, reversing a year-on-year increase initiated since 2015, reflective of the pandemic situation. In 2020 all sub-categories except for indecent exposure decreased.
  • Violence against Public Officers decreased by 14% to 159 cases down from 185 in 2019, a steady year-on-year decrease since 2017.
  • Theft from Occupied Residences decreased by 243 cases or 38% reflective of the pandemic situation. Theft from exterior and vacant residences increased by 17% and 44% respectively.
  • Pretended Rights which had been recorded as a separate category in 2017 registered a 25% increase in reports amounting to 228 cases up from 183 cases in 2019.

  • Money Laundering as recorded for the first time as a distinct category in 2017, registered a 192% increase in 2020, reaching 105 cases, up from 36 cases in 2019 and 33 cases in 2018. It is to be noted that this increase relates to the better capturing of reports by the Malta Police in the reporting system.

  • A new category, Gender-Based Violence was introduced in 2020, when 2 cases were registered.


Interactive Crime Maps

Link to the 2019 maps