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In 2018          

Crime rate in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM) declined from the previous year and remains below national average

In this release, the Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM) presents a enlarged version of the time series of justice, not only with more official statistical information, but now divided into 4 chapters: courts, registry and notary, police forces and other investigation bodies and other justice related statistics. Information on this statistical domain is provided by the Directorate General for Justice Policy (DGPJ).


The data regarding the case-flow of cases in the country courts of law courts in the district of Madeira, for the period 2014-2018, show a positive trend regarding the decrease of pending cases that went from 35.0 thousand in 2014 to 21.5 thousand in 2018. In that year 12.4 thousand cases were filed in these courts (up by 9.7% from 2017), while 14.4 thousand cases were closed (down by 11.2% from the previous year). Pending lawsuits were also reduced by 8.2% between 2017 and 2018.

In the Autonomous Region of Madeira, in the years of 2014 to 2018 there was a clear predominance of civil court proceedings in the country courts of law with their total share ranging from 80.1% in 2018 to 87.6% in 2014. In 2018, 38.7 thousand out of a total of 48.2 thousand cases in the country courts of law in the district of Madeira were civil cases. It should be noted that about two thirds of such processes refer to civil enforcement actions.

The importance of civil cases can be inferred from the following statistics: they represented 69.8% of the filed cases (8.7 thousand cases), 73.6% of the closed cases (10.6 thousand) and 90.5% of pending cases (19.5 thousand).

The resolution rate of the proceedings (ratio between the number of closed cases and opened cases) of the country courts of law in 2018 stood at 115.5%, decreasing by 27.3 percentage points (pp) from the previous year (142.8%). The resolution rate of civil lawsuits (121.8%) exceeded that of the remaining lawsuits, with the resolution rates of labour criminal lawsuits (90.3%) and criminal lawsuits (92.2%) having the lowest values.

With regard to the average duration of completed proceedings in the country courts of law, the most recent information available for 2017 shows that in this year there has been a decrease in virtually all types of proceedings except of the civil. The largest decreases were observed in juvenile cases, whose average duration went from 12 months in 2016 to 8 months in 2017 and in labour cases where there was a drop from 18 to 14 months between those same years. The civil lawsuits, besides being identified as the longest in the system, had an average duration of 33 months in 2017, up by 2 months from 2016.

Registries and Notary

In the Autonomous Region of Madeira, in 2018, 249.5 thousand acts of registry and notary were performed (up by 0.9% compared to 2017), of which 32.0% were related to civil registry and 25.5% to real estate registry, followed by motor vehicle registry (19.7%), notaries (15.3%) and commercial registry (7.5%).

Regarding the number of public deeds in 2018, there was an increase of 5.9% over the previous year, from 5.1 thousand deeds in 2017 to 5.4 thousand in 2018. The vast majority of these deeds were held in the municipality of Funchal (2.8 thousand deeds; 51.4% of the total).


In 2018, 6.3 thousand crimes were registered by the Police Authorities in the Region, a 2.4% decrease over the previous year (6.5 thousand).

The most significant crimes in the total number of crimes registered in 2018 - “crimes against patrimony” and “crimes against persons” - were similar in the order of 2.4 thousand, representing in aggregate 75.8% of the total (74.4% in 2017). Compared to 2017, “crimes against patrimony” decreased by 5.4%, while “crimes against persons” increased by 4.8%.

By municipality, almost half of the crimes recorded in the Autonomous Region of Madeira in 2018 occurred in Funchal (3.3 thousand crimes, 51.6% of the total), followed by the municipalities of Câmara de Lobos (900 crimes, 14.3%), Santa Cruz (577 crimes, 9.1%) and Machico (552 crimes, 8.7%).

In 2018, the crime rate - which corresponds to the ratio of the number of crimes per resident population (in thousands) - stood at 24.9 ‰, lower than in 2017 (25.4 ‰). It should be noted that this rate was substantially lower than the national average (32.4 ‰) and also than  the value recorded in the Autonomous Region of the Azores (36.9 ‰). In the Region, the highest rates were registered in “crimes against patrimony” (9.5 ‰) and “crimes of assault” (6.4 ‰).

By municipality, the lowest rate was recorded in Ponta do Sol (12.7 ‰) and the highest in Funchal (31.2 ‰). Besides Funchal, Ribeira Brava (28.8 ‰), Machico (27.5 ‰) and Câmara de Lobos (26.7 ‰) had rates above the regional average.

Infografia Justiça EN

In 2018, the law enforcement authorities identified and recorded 1,041 injured / offended spouses (or akin) crimes in domestic violence crimes in the Region, down by 4 from the previous year (1,045 persons). This is the lowest value recorded in the last 7 years, with 2015 being the year with the highest number (1,240 persons). In 2018, three out of four of these injured / offended identified persons in 2018 were women. 570 of the injured / offended were identified in Funchal and 188 in Câmara de Lobos.


In 2018, 494 lawyers were enrolled in the bar association in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, a 2.6% drop compared to 2017 (507 lawyers). Of this total, 54 were still trainee lawyers (10.9% of the total), mostly female (63.0% of the trainee lawyers). In the remaining 440 registered lawyers (89.1% of the total), there were more men (51.6%) than women (48.4% of the total lawyers).

Prison Establishments and Inmates

According to information provided by the DGPJ, the Prison of Funchal had, on December 31, 2018, a secluded population of 209 persons, a 10.3% decrease compared to the same day of 2017 (233 people). The series available (2005-2018) for existing inmates shows that this indicator recorded the highest value in 2011 (306 inmates).

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