Belgium’s Criminal Justice & Legal System
Considering the state of crime in most of its neighboring countries, Belgium is seen as a fairly safe place. Their capitalBelgium law and justice Brussels holds the most reported criminal incidents. On the other hand, Belgium’s countryside is relatively crime free. Only 88 out of every 100,000 people are incarcerated. This is quite impressive when one takes into account in the United States 1 out of 142 individuals are imprisoned. Statistics show that Belgium sees more than its share of law breaking. Like most of Europe, when it comes to crime Belgium promotes a prevention is better than cure approach. They stress methods for stopping thefts and protecting oneself on the street. It’s believed a lot of that advice and promotion is working. The homicide rate in Belgium is 1.7 per 100,000, lower than the OECD Better Life average of 2.1. Still, despite these low numbers, crime has seen an increase in Belgium in recent years, especially violent crime and computer fraud. The latter jumped an astonishing 107 percent. But this shouldn’t be that surprising as digital crime is on the rise over the entire globe.

A big part of the relatively safety in Belgium could be the way criminal justice system deals with lawbreakers. The courts are quite severe, ready to dish out heavy sentences and fines for breaking their laws. This can be especially true of visitors, who are expected to know Belgium laws and abide by them the moment they set foot in their country. Overall, the Belgium criminal justice system is institutionally complex. They push to devolve decision making powers from the federal level. Since the mid-1990s, Belgium has gone through a period of criminal justice reform. This has greatly affected key areas such as the prison system, policing and victim policy.