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Police dispute Eurostatʼs homicide rate figure

In 2017, the rate of police-recorded intentional homicides stood at 1.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in Hungary, with murder rates decreasing across the entire EU, statistical agency Eurostat reports. Hungarian police, however, dispute the figure.

There were around 5,200 homicides in the EU in 2017, a reduction of 19% since 2008, Eurostat says.

Among the member states, the highest number of police-recorded intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded in Latvia (5.6), followed by Lithuania (4.0), Estonia (2.2), Malta (2.0), and Belgium (1.7), with Hungaryʼs rate of 1.6 putting it in sixth place.

The lowest murder rates were observed in Luxembourg (0.3), the Czech Republic and Italy (both 0.6). Non-EU members Norway and Switzerland also recorded low rates of 0.5 each.

Meanwhile, Hungarian news agency MTI reported that Hungarian police on Thursday disputed the accuracy of the 2017 data on local homicides published a day earlier by Eurostat.

The National Police Headquarters (ORFK) said there were 90 homicides in Hungary in 2017. Calculating with a population of 9.79 million, the homicide rate was 0.92, it said.

The Eurostat figure "calls into question the credibility of data related to the Hungarian police published by Eurostat," the ORFK said, adding that it was not the first instance data on Eurostatʼs website "did not reflect reality." The Hungarian police did not supply the data on homicides to Eurostat, the ORFK noted.

There were 78 police-recorded intentional homicides in Hungary last year, resulting in a homicide rate of 0.79%, the ORFK noted, adding that police identified the perpetrators in every single case.