Quarter of the population calls the police

22/12/2003 10:00

Each year almost a quarter of the population over 18 calls the police. They do so for various reasons, such as theft, burglaries, violence, harassment, vandalism or traffic problems.

In total the police are called in about 4 million times a year.

Calls for police assistance

Calls for police assistance

Most calls for general assistance

Most contacts, over 2.5 million a year, have to do with the general assistance tasks of the police. Over a quarter of these have to do with public order and safety, such as dealing with vandalism, noise nuisance, quarrels between neighbours, drunks and fire

One in five are appeals for general services. One in seven contacts is to report a theft or burglary, and one in twenty about a violent crime (of which someone else is the victim). A problem in traffic the cause is for one in six.

Calls for police assistance by reason, 2002

Calls for police assistance by reason, 2002

Police is often asked to come

In over half of the calls for general assistance the police are asked to come, which the police generally do. The police are on the spot within 15 minutes in over half of these appeals for general assistance.

In almost one quarter of the calls for assistance, the police check the situation on the spot. In one in five cases the police serve a summons, in one in six cases they give information or advice; in the same number of cases the police does nothing.

Calls for police assistance by police action, 2002

Calls for police assistance by police action, 2002

1.4 million calls from a crime victim

Apart from this, citizens call on the police about 1.4 million times because they have become the victim of a crime. In over half the cases this concerns theft.

When people report that they have been a crime victim they usually sign a document such as a report of the offence. This usually takes place after the victim, or someone else in the name of the victim, has come to the police station in person.

Harry Huys

Source: Statline:

  • Calls on police for assistance (Dutch only)
  • Actions in police assistance (Dutch only)