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Press release, 01 March 2013 15:00

One in eight people affected by cybercrime

  • One in eight Dutch victim of cybercrime
  • Cybercrime affects mainly young people
  • One in five are victim of traditional crime
  • Satisfaction with police contacts slightly up

In 2012 just over one in eight Dutch people aged 15 years or older reported that in the preceding twelve months they had been the victim of cybercrime such computer hacking and online bullying. ‘Traditional’ crime is still more common: one in five people in the Netherlands had been the victim of burglary, violence or theft. More than one third of Dutch people feel unsafe from time to time. These are some of the outcomes reported in the annual safety monitor published by Statistics Netherlands and the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Half of cybercrime victims were hacked

Cybercrime was included officially in the survey for the first time in 2012.  Overall, 12 percent of inhabitants aged 15 years or older had been confronted with at least one form of computer crime. Half of them had had their computer, smart phone, e-mail account or website hacked. One quarter were the victim of bullying via the internet and one quarter had experienced fraud when buying or selling online. A small proportion were the victim of  identity fraud (fraudulent use of personal data for financial gain).

Young people hit hardest by cybercrime

Young people, who are relatively more active on the internet, are more likely to fall victim to cybercrime. Nearly one in five young people aged between 15 and 25 years had been the victim of a computer crime. The proportion was also 15 percent higher than average among 25-44 year-olds.

Slight downward trend for traditional crime

Nearly 20 percent of the Dutch population had been the victim of one or more traditional forms of frequently occurring crime, such as physical abuse, property crime and vandalism. This hardly changed from 2011, but in the longer term a slight downward trend is visible.

Just over one in three people sometimes feel unsafe

In 2012, 37 percent of Dutch people said they sometimes did not feel safe. This proportion was the same as in 2011, but slightly lower than the year before that.

Satisfaction with police contacts slightly up

Nearly 60 percent of Dutch people who had been in contact with the police in the twelve months preceding the survey were satisfied with this contact. This rate has risen slightly since 2010. 

More victims and insecurity in urban regions

Crime victim rates were higher than average in the urban police regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague in 2012, but people living in the relatively rural Gooi- en Vechtstreek were also more likely than average to have experienced crime. People living in these regions were also more likely to feel unsafe sometimes: just over four in ten inhabitants there reported this. This correlation is not found everywhere. Relatively more people do not feel safe sometimes in police regions in south Limburg, Flevoland and Utrecht, while victim rates there are not significantly higher than the national average.

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