One quarter of Dutch people do not feel safe

22/03/2004 10:00

In 2003 nearly one quarter of the population of the Netherlands aged 12 years and older reported feelings of unsafety in certain situations that they felt safe sometimes. This percentage had risen since 2000, but this increase came to an end in 2003.

Feelings of unsafety

Feelings of unsafety

Fewer people afraid of being at home alone

In certain concrete situations, too, fewer people feel unsafe. In 2003 18 percent of those asked said they were sometimes afraid if they were home on their own at night. In 1999 this was still as high as 21 percent.

Three out of ten people said there were areas in their neighbourhood where they would rather not go in the evening. This had fallen slightly since 1999.

Afraid to open the door at night

In 2003, nearly six out of ten people said they would not open the front door in the evening if someone called while they were not expecting anybody. Some 15 percent had changed their habits with regard to going out in the evening to prevent anything happening to them. Nearly 6 percent thought the risk of burglary was high. These percentages have hardly changed in recent years.

Feelings of unsafety by sex, 2003

Feelings of unsafety by sex, 2003

More women than men feel unsafe

In 2003 three out of ten women sometimes felt unsafe in general, compared with two out of ten men.

In concrete situations the differences between perceived safety of men and women were larger. About 30 percent of women, for example, said they were sometimes afraid when at home on their own. For men this was only 4 percent. Three-quarters of women do not open the door if they are at home alone and someone calls in the evening, compared with four out of ten men. Just over 40 percent of women said there were unsafe places in the neighbourhood, compared with 16 percent of men.

Feelings of unsafety by age, 2003

Feelings of unsafety by age, 2003

Young and old people in particular feel unsafe

In 2003, 29 percent of young people aged between 12 and 24 years said they sometimes felt unsafe. This percentage decreases as people grow older.

Feelings of unsafety occurred more often among young people in some concrete situations: 27 percent said they were sometimes afraid when at home alone. More than 60 percent said they would not open the front door at night if they were not expecting someone. Nearly 40 percent knew of unsafe places in the neighbourhood and 15 percent had changed their going out behaviour.

The over-65s, too, felt unsafe in certain situations. More than 80 percent were afraid to answer the door in the evening, if they were not expecting someone to call. One third said they knew of unsafe places and one quarter had changed their behaviour with regard to going out.

Harry Huys

Source: StatLine