Dutch police recorded 1.38 million criminal offences in 2003, 3 percent fewer than one year previously. This was the first time since 1998 that registered crime decreased.
Crimes recorded by the police
Less crime against property and vandalism
Fewer crimes against property in particular have been recorded. The number of cases of theft and breaking and entering decreased by 52 thousand overall in 2003. Theft from cars (-30 thousand) and businesses (-30 thousand) decreased particularly strongly, while car theft (-8 thousand), pick-pocketing cases (-4 thousand) and shoplifting (-3 thousand) also fell. The number of recorded cases of vandalism also decreased (13 thousand). Vandalism in public transport even decreased by as much 26 percent.
Decrease and increase in crime, by type of offence, 2003
Strong rise in traffic offences
Crime did not decrease across the board, however. Bicycle theft and theft from homes rose somewhat in 2003. The number of recorded traffic offences rose by most: there were more than 5 thousand recorded cases of driving under influence and more than 3 thousand drivers failed to stop after an accident.
Drugs offences (+ 2 900), public order offences (+ 2 300) and fire arms offences (+2 thousand) were also recorded more than in the previous year. Although the number of registered violent offences also rose l (+ 2 percent ), especially the number of recorded cases of threatening behaviour, the increase was not as strong as in 2001 (+ 11 percent) and 2002 (+ 8 percent).
Clear-up rates by type of offence
Clear-up rate up
The police cleared up 276 thousand criminal offences in 2003, 22 thousand more than in 2002, pushing up the clear-up rate from 17/8 to 20.0 percent. The highest clear-up rate was for violent crime: last year more than half of these offences were solved. For vandalism and crimes against property the clear-up rate was considerably lower (around 11 percent).