In 2004 crime rates per thousand inhabitants registered by the police went down in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen and Nijmegen, compared to 2000. This is borne out by a comparative study among the ten largest municipalities. Crime rates in Rotterdam and The Hague, however, went up.
Utrecht and Rotterdam in the lead
In 2004 the police reported 154 crimes per thousand inhabitants in the age category 12-79 in the ten largest municipalities in the Netherlands, a 9 percent decrease compared to 2000. The rate for the country as a whole is 100, the same as in 2000. Among the large municipalities, Utrecht and Rotterdam have the highest number of registered crimes: 191 per thousand inhabitants. They are followed by Amsterdam and Eindhoven with more than 170. In 2000 Utrecht was alone in first place, followed by Amsterdam. In that year the rate for Rotterdam was 153 offences per thousand inhabitants.
Registered property crimes
Crime property rate markedly down
Nearly two-thirds of all registered crimes are property crimes. With 140 registrations per thousand inhabitants, the same as in 2000, this type of crime was most frequent in Utrecht. Yet crimes against property dropped in seven out of ten municipalities which were evaluated in the period 2000-2004, particularly in Utrecht and Amsterdam. This downward trend is also typical of the Netherlands as a whole. In Eindhoven, The Hague and Rotterdam, on the other hand, the property crime rate per capita rose.
Registered cases of vandalism
Vandalism rate highest in Almere
Just like in 2000, Almere, as one of the large municipalities monitored in 2004, had the highest number of registered cases of vandalism per thousand inhabitants. Apart from Almere vandalism rates rose in Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven, whereas they declined in other big cities. Compared to 2000, the vandalism rate for the Netherlands as a whole was stable.
Registered violent crimes
More violent crimes in the Netherlands
Proportionally, most violent offences in 2004 were registered in Rotterdam, where the rate was 22 per thousand inhabitants. Compared to 2000, the number of violent crimes rose in six out of ten large municipalities evaluated in 2004. Amsterdam, Groningen, Nijmegen and Utrecht reported a decrease. The violent crime rate for the entire country rose from 7 to 9 per thousand inhabitants in the period 2000-2004.
Ineke Engelhard and Harry Eggen