Crime down, people feel safer

- Feelings of insecurity continue to decrease

- Most people who do not feel safe live in urban areas

- Fewer victims, less property crime

- Fewer victims in non-urban areas

According to the National Safety Monitor published by Statistics Netherlands and the Ministries of the Interior and of Justice, 20 percent of the Dutch population aged 15 years and older do not feel safe at times. This percentage has fallen for the third year in succession. One quarter of the population reported that they had been the victim of a frequently occurring crime; this too is lower than three years ago.

At the beginning of 2008, one in five people in the Netherlands said that they did not feel safe now and then. This percentage has shown a clear annual decrease since 2005. In that year, 27 percent said that they sometimes did not feel safe. Three percent of respondents said they often did not feel safe. This is the same percentage as last year, but lower than the two preceding years.

Feelings of insecurity are most common among residents of extremely urbanised and strongly urbanised areas. In police regions such as Amsterdam-Amstelland, Rotterdam-Rijnmond and Haaglanden (The Hague) just over one in four people sometimes did not feel safe. The difference with non-urbanised areas, especially those in the northeast of the country, is large. In police regions Frŷslan, IJsselland, Twente and Zeeland about one in seven residents said they did not feel safe from time to time.

In January 2008, 25 percent of the population said they had been the victim of frequently occurring crime. This is about the same percentage as in 2007, but less than in 2006 and 2005. In the latter year, 29 percent of respondents said they had fallen victim to these offences. The share of victims of property crime in particular, such as bicycle theft and burglary, decreased in this period. The percentage of people who had been a victim of violent crime or vandalism hardly changed at all.

The total rate of reported crime also fell. According to the National Safety Monitor there were 39 offences per 100 inhabitants; three years ago this was 47 offences.

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