Persons found guilty of offences

Statistics relating to persons convicted for criminal offences present those found guilty either by court (county court convictions) or by prosecutors (through prosecutor fines or waivers of prosecution).

In 2018, there were approximately 101,000 so-called conviction decisions laid down by the courts or the prosecutors. This is an 4 percent increase compared to 2017.

Conviction decisions

Conviction decisions, in total and by principal sanction, 2009-2018.

Road traffic offences constitute the most common offence type for which someone is convicted. In 2018, offences against various road traffic statutes were the principal offence in 32 percent of all convictions. The second most common offence type is crimes against the Narcotics Drugs Act , which was the principal offence in 24 percent of the convictions in 2018.

Fines most common sanction

Fines issued either by the courts or the prosecutor is the most common form of sanction. In 2018, 58 percent of all convictions carried fines as the principal sanction. In addition 223,000 summary fines were issued directly by the police.

In 2018, about 12 percent (10,700) of all convictions carried a prison sentence. The most common sentence length was of a maximum of two months (45 percent of all convictions carrying a prison sentence) while the second most common sentence length was of over two months but no more than six months (21 percent of all convictions carrying a prison sentence). About 1,260 sentences or 12 percent of the prison sentence carried a prison term of over two years, 10 of which carried a life sentence. In 2018, 67 youths were sentenced to youth custody, a sanction that since 1999 has largely replaced the use of prison for youths up to eighteen years of age.

A legislative change introduced 1 January 2007 led to the sanctions youth care and youth service, previously included under care of the social services, now having become separate sanctions. There were about 2,920 youth care and youth service sentences in 2018, which are 28 more than in 2017.

In 2018, there were 9,630 convictions that carried a suspended sentence as the principal sanction, of which 34 percent (3,270 convictions) were combined with community service.

Men and women accounted for 83 and 17 percent respectively of those found guilty of offences in 2018. Youths aged between fifteen and twenty made up approximately 19 percent of all convicted in 2018. In relation to the proportion of the population, youths are over-represented among those found guilty of offences compared to members of other age groups.