Little change in Prague crime rates

Serious traffic accidents and theft from vehicles is up slightly

Crime in Prague in the first half of 2018 was about the same as during the same time last year, however there was an increase in traffic accidents particularly involving trams.

There were seven murders in the first six months, the same as in H1 2017, and all of this year's murders have been resolved.

There has been less success in resolving pick-pocketing cases. In H1 2018 some 2,696 such thefts were reported, but the cops only solved 83. “Clarification is more complex because the victim usually discovers the theft at another location at another time, and it is difficult for the police to find any trace," Municipal Police director Jan Ptáček told the press this week.

Some 3,062 incidents of pickpocketing were reported in the first half of 2017, with 80 cases clarified, so there has been no significant shift.

The number of car thefts fell from 524 in H1 2017 to 376 in H1 2018. The number of thefts from vehicles rose by 330 cases to 2,788. Ptáček reminded people that prevention in this area is important, and valuables shouldn't be left in plain sight.

Police claim to have been successful in reducing street crimes and misdemeanors in Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Dozens of uniformed patrols checked in nearly 12,000 people, uncovered 55 crimes and issued fines of nearly Kč 2 million.

Traffic accidents are down, but serious ones resulting in death or injury increased. “We are aware of this unfortunate situation, and we will try to minimize these consequences through preventive activities,” Municipal Police spokesman Tomáš Hulan said.

In the first half of 2017 nine people died in Prague in traffic accidents, but it has been double that this year. "There are many reasons, the main thing is not paying attention. A lot of people have headphones on, they do not observe their surroundings and come directly in front of trams. The driver does not have the chance to stop,” Ptáček said. Trams, like trains, cannot stop quickly. Pedestrians do not have the right of way with trams, Ptáček said.

The police are cooperating with the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) on an information campaign aimed at children and seniors to raise awareness of the risks of crossing while not paying attention.

The project is called Není cesty zpět (No Way Back).

Police also pointed to their success in handling large events, such as the recent Rolling Stones concert, which had over 50,000 people, and the Harley-Davidson anniversary rally. Ptáček said that the precautions and planning resulted in a lack of serious incidents.

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