The number of people in the Netherlands who feel unsafe, in general as well as in their own neighbourhoods continues to drop. Women more often feel unsafe than men. Residents of urbanised neighbourhoods more often feel unsafe than those living in rural areas.
Dutch residents think their neighbourhoods have become safer
Early this year, 20 percent of Dutch residents reported to feel unsafe occasionally, as against 27 percent in 2005. The proportion of people who indicated to feel unsafe at times in their own neighbourhoods has fallen to 8 percent in recent years; 3 percent occasionally feel unsafe in their own homes.
If people feel unsafe, it is mostly at night. Nearly one in three sometimes do not answer the door, because they think it is unsafe.
Feelings of insecurity in the Netherlands
More than four in ten Dutch women sometimes afraid to answer the door at night
Women are distinctly more often troubled by feelings of insecurity than men. This also applies to their own neighbourhood or home. For instance, 42 percent of women, as against 16 percent of men report they occasionally do not answer the door, because they think it is unsafe.
Women living alone more often feel unsafe than those who do not live alone, e.g. 47 percent of single women do not easily open the door at night as opposed to 39 percent of women living with a partner.
Feelings of insecurity by gender, 2008
People living in cities more often feel unsafe than those living in villages
The environment also plays an important part; city-dwellers more often feel unsafe than people living in villages. This also applies to people’s own environment: in very highly urbanised areas, 14 percent of residents occasionally feel unsafe, as against only 3 percent in non-urbanised areas.
The difference between highly urbanised and non-urbanised areas is not so obvious when people are at home. Still, city-dwellers more often do not answer the door at night than people living in rural areas.
Feelings of insecurity by degree of urbanisation, 2008