There has been a relatively significant fall in the percentage of official suspects in criminal cases since 2005 among people of all origin groups. The proportion of people who fall victim to crime or who feel unsafe has also gone down. The percentage of people with a native Dutch background who are suspects in criminal cases increases in proportion to the population density of the neighbourhood; this pattern is less noticeable among people with a migration background.

Fall in the proportion of official suspects among all origin groups

The percentage of officially-registered suspects in criminal cases has declined relatively consistently since 2005 among people of all migration backgrounds. The proportion of suspects has decreased by about half in the past 13 years, both among people with a native Dutch background and in the four largest non-estern origin groups. Among people from countries which joined the European Union more recently, this proportion has decreased by around one-quarter. The proportion of suspects among refugee groups has almost halved since 2005.

Of the four largest non-western origin groups, the greatest proportion of registered suspects is in the group of people with an Antillean background: 4.4 percent in 2017. This means that Antilleans are around six times more likely to become suspects than people with a native Dutch background (0.7 percent), a rate which is also higher than those among people from refugee groups and new EU countries.

Registered crime suspects
 Native Dutch (%)Turkish (%)Moroccan (%)Surinamese (%)Antillean (%)Other non-western (%)

People with non-western backgrounds more likely to fall victim to crime

The period from 2012–13 to 2016–17 saw a sustained trend towards fewer people becoming victims of common offences such as violent crime, crime against property or vandalism. We see the same trend among both people with a native Dutch background and people with western or non-western migration backgrounds. Among people with a native Dutch background, the proportion of victims of crime decreased from 19 percent to 16 percent; among people with a non-western background this proportion fell from 24 percent to 20 percent. Generally speaking, there were proportionally more victims in the four largest non-western origin groups than among people with a native Dutch background. This difference has not decreased over time.

Crime victimisation by background
catNative Dutch (%)Western (%)Non-western (%)

Migrants in local authorities with moderate population density least likely to become suspects

People with a native Dutch background are comparatively more likely to be suspected of having committed a crime when they live in a densely-populated neighbourhood: the more densely populated the neighbourhood, the greater the percentage of suspects. This pattern is less visible among people with either a western or a non-western migration background. The suspect rates among these groups in densely-populated neighbourhoods do not differ significantly from those in more sparsely-populated neighbourhoods. Where people with a non-western migration background are concerned, the proportion of suspects is actually highest in areas with low population density.

Registered crime suspects by background and degree of urbanisation in place of residence, 2017*
AchtergrondNon-urbanised (%)Little urbanised (%)Moderately urbanised (%)Highly urbanised (%)Extremely urbanised (%)
Native Dutch0.
New EU1.
Source: CBS, BVH