At the beginning of 2006, fewer people in the Netherlands did not feel safe than twelve months previously. People living in Zeeland felt safest. The number of crimes people experienced was also down, although the percentage of people falling victim to frequently occurring crimes remained more or less stable. The percentage of victims was highest in police region Amsterdam-Amstelland. These results are among the findings published in the National safety monitor, a new survey by Statistic Netherlands and the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Justice.
A new series of statistics
The National safety monitor replaces previous separate surveys on feelings of unsafety and crime victims in the Netherlands. The survey can be qualified as an improved measuring method than the methods used up to now. This means the figures in the National safety monitor are not directly comparable with figures from previous surveys. In most cases there is a serious break in the series between the different surveys.
One quarter of the population sometimes feels unsafe
At the beginning of 2006, 24 percent of the Dutch population aged 15 years and older said that sometimes they did not feel safe. The is slightly down on the beginning of 2005, when 27 percent of the population reported this. Three percent of the population often did not feel safe, this too was slightly less than in 2005.
Inhabitants of Zeeland feel safest
There are large regional differences in feelings of unsafety. The feelings were lowest in the police region of Zeeland: 15 percent of people living there sometimes did not feel safe. In Zaanstreek-Waterland and the north-eastern police regions the percentage was also relatively low. In police regions Haaglanden and Rotterdam-Rijnmond, on the other hand, more than thirty percent of inhabitants said they did not feel safe sometimes. In region Limburg-Zuid, too, more inhabitants than the national average felt unsafe.
Experienced crime down: victim rate reasonably stable
The number of crimes directly experienced by the population in a period of twelve months was lower at the beginning of 2006 than the beginning of 2005: 42.7 per 100 inhabitants in 2006, down from 47.2 per 100 inhabitants in 2005. The total number of crimes fell from 6.2 million to 5.6 million.
At the beginning of 2006, 27 percent of the population reported that they had been the victim of frequently occurring crime in the last twelve months. This is about the same percentage as one year previously. Crimes against property, such as breaking and entering, bicycle theft, pickpocketing and theft from cars were the most common. Nearly 14 percent of the population had experienced such an event at least once. Vandalism - damage to cars and other property -came next, with 12 percent of the population suffering from this. Just over 5 percent of the population had suffered a violent crime at least once, i.e. physical abuse or threatening behaviour. These percentages, too, are around the same as at the beginning of 2005.
Most victims in Amsterdam-Amstelland
The percentage of inhabitants who were the victim of one or more crimes was highest in the Region Amsterdam-Amstelland, at 37. In police regions Haaglanden, Utrecht and Flevoland, too, this percentage was above the national average, at more than 30. The percentage of victims was lowest in police region Zeeland, at 15 percent. Victim rates were also lower than average in police regions Drenthe, Twente, Noord en-Oost Gelderland, Gelderland-Midden and Zaanstreek-Waterland.