This year, 26 percent of the 15-and-over population in the Netherlands reported that they had been victimes of common crime, as against 29 percent two years ago; the number of offences experienced by the Dutch population also dropped in that period. The percentage of Dutch citizens who occasionally felt unsafe dropped from 27 in 2005 to 22 percent early this year, according to the National Safety Monitor, a collective publication by Statistics Netherlands, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Justice.
Fewer victims of theft
The number of Dutch citizens who fell victim to frequently occurring crimes declined. Early this year, 26 percent of the Dutch population reported they had been victims of common crime in the preceding year. The rates at the beginning of 2006 and 2005 with reference to the preceding year were 27 and 29 percent respectively. The theft rate declined distinctly, in particular bicycle theft. Vandalism and violent crime rates, on the other hand, remained stable over the past few years.
Crime rate highest in urbanised areas
The crime rate is higher in urbanised areas than in non-urbanised areas. In highly urbanised police districts like Utrecht, Amsterdam-Amstelland and Haaglanden, the percentage of crime victims exceeded the nationwide average of 26 percent. The crime rate in the police district of Gelderland-Zuid was also above the nationwide average in 2007. The lowest crime rate was recorded in the province of Zeeland where only 19 percent of residents reported to have been victims of crime.
Sustained decline in the number of people who sometimes feel unsafe
Early 2007, 22 percent of the Dutch population indicated they occasionally felt unsafe, as opposed to 24 percent in 2006 and 27 percent in 2005. Approximately 30 percent of young people in the 18-25 age category sometimes felt unsafe. After the age of 25, feelings of unsafety tend to wane; among over-65s only 16 percent occasionally felt unsafe.
In 2007, only a small proportion of the population (3 percent) reported they frequently feel unsafe. In 2005, this was 5 percent. It mainly concerns people over the age of 55.
Feelings of unsafety rarest in rural areas
In the police district of Drenthe, 13 percent of residents reported to feel unsafe sometimes. This rate is the lowest of all police districts. The highest rate is found in Rotterdam-Rijnmond, where 29 percent of people sometimes felt unsafe. Feelings of unsafety are also related to the urbanisation rate. In regions with a low urbanisation rate like Fryslân, Twente, Noord and Oost-Gelderland and Zeeland, the proportion of people who occasionally feel unsafe was below the nationwide average of 22 percent. For residents of Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Utrecht, Amsterdam-Amstelland, Haaglanden and Limburg-Zuid the percentage was above the national average.