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Police density in Switzerland - Swiss Police is almost the worst in Europe

Based on Article from Reto Fehr Watson - MSN

Switzerland is currently battling a shortage of police officers - thousands of law enforcement officers are missing in the country. The UN recommends 300 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants, but we can't manage that. But how do we compare with the rest of Europe?


In recent days, the shortage of police officers in Switzerland has once again been the subject of heated debate. On SRF, the Vaud police commander Sylvie Bula even pleaded for a change in the police force: with part-time models, new forms of work, better career development and generally more flexibility.


The UN recommends 300 police officers for every 100,000 inhabitants. That would be around 27,000 law enforcement officers in Switzerland. However, the Conference of Cantonal Police Commanders of Switzerland (KKPKS) currently only has around 25,300 cantonal and municipal police officers - around 18,800 of whom are authorized to use police force. There is therefore a shortfall of several thousand police officers.


A problem or simply "courant normal"? A comparison with the rest of Europe provides some insight.


On average, around 335 police officers are deployed per 100,000 inhabitants in the countries of the European Union. Just over 18 per cent of these are women. According to the KKPKS, Switzerland has 214 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants. This puts Swiss Police in 31st place out of 34 countries. Only Denmark, Iceland and Finland have fewer law enforcement officers per capita. In an international comparison, the proportion of women in Switzerland looks much better. Only six countries have a higher percentage. However, the 25.8 per cent (2021 data) in Switzerland is still too low. The KKPKS has therefore published a leaflet on the topic of "Sensitising women for the police service". It states that "the proportion of women in the corps is increasing only insignificantly and, in particular, the representation of women in management positions (civilian and in uniform) is absolutely inadequate."


The differences between the cantons in terms of police density are also quite large. With 327 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants, Ticino has the highest ratio. Basel-Stadt also has 306 law enforcement officers, even more than the number targeted by the UN. The canton of Aargau has the lowest ratio, with just 136 police officers.


Let's have a look at the other side of the coin in Switzerland. In Aargau, there is one police officer for every 735 inhabitants on average, compared to 305 in Ticino. The national average is 466 people per law enforcement officer.

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