Four murders a week

22/08/2006 14:00

In the last ten years, an average 230 people per year in the Netherlands have been victims of murder or manslaughter. In 2005 a total 198 people were killed, an average of four murders a week. This is the lowest number in the last ten years. Compared with 2004 - 223 victims – it is 10 percent less. Half of the victims were aged between 20 and 40 years, and seven out of ten were male. From the age of 70 onwards, the risk of being murdered starts to increase again.

Risk of being killed in the period 1996-2005

Risk of being killed in the period 1996-2005

Summer and weekend killings

On average, July is the top month for murder and manslaughter, while the number is lowest in December.
Nearly 40 percent of the total number of murders is committed in weekends. The number is one quarter higher in weekends than in the rest of the week, especially among men and women aged between 15 and 30 years.

Victims of murder and manslaughter by means, 1996-2005

Victims of murder and manslaughter by means, 1996-2005

Most victims shot or stabbed

Four out of ten male victims are shot dead, three out of ten are stabbed and the rest are killed as a result of physical violence: hitting, kicking and strangling. Men aged over 80 are most likely to be killed by physical violence.
For women the most frequent cause of death is stabbing (three out of ten). Fewer women than men are shot dead , but more are strangled or choke to death.

Many women killed in own home

Two-thirds of women killed in 2005 were killed in their own home. One in three were killed at someone else’s home and another one in three on the street. Half of male victims are killed in a house, 30 percent on the street and one in ten in a restaurant, bar or club.

Victims of murder and manslaughter by municipality, 1996-2005

Victims of murder and manslaughter by municipality, 1996-2005

Higher risk in large cities

Most victims in the last ten years were killed in Amsterdam (341), Rotterdam (273) and The Hague (162). Together these three cities account for one-third of all murder and manslaughter victims. The other cities with more than 100 thousand inhabitants accounted for 22 percent of the murders. Half of victims who were non-Dutch residents were killed in the three largest cities.
The risk of being killed is greatest in Amsterdam, closely followed by Rotterdam and to a lesser extent The Hague. In Utrecht the murder victim rate was 2.1 per 100 thousand inhabitants: this is significantly lower than the average rates in the other three large cities.

Jan Hoogenboezem