In 2007, 164 people were murdered in the Netherlands, five more than in 2006. This has put a stop to the recent decrease in the annual number of murder victims. After falling by half in 2006, the number of murders in the large cities rose substantially again.
Murders in large municipalities
Substantial increase in large cities
A total 164 people were victims of murder or manslaughter in the Netherlands in 2007. In the four largest cities, in particular, the number of victims rose again. The spectacular fifty-percent fall in the number of murders in these cities in 2006 was thus almost completely undone. The number of murders in municipalities with fewer than 250 thousand inhabitants fell further however. One in six murder victims in the Netherlands in 1996-2007 did not live in the country.
Murders in the Netherlands by age and sex, 1996-2007
More than twice as many men murdered
Half of murder victims were aged between 20 and 40 years. Nearly twice as many victims – both men and women - as the average for all age groups were in the age group 20 to 30 years. Every year, more than twice as many men as women are killed in the Netherlands.
Half of women killed by partner or ex-partner
For one quarter of the female murder victims in 2007, the killer either remains unknown, or the relationship between the killer and the victim remains unknown. In cases where the killer has been identified, it turns out that nearly half of female victims are killed by their partner or former partner. In these cases, domestic arguments or jealousy ended in the man killing the women by stabbing or strangling her.
Murders in Europe, 2002/2006
Netherlands below European average
In de period 2002-2006, an average 1.6 murders were committed per 100 thousand people in Europe. This number was clearly lower for the Netherlands, and it has dropped even further to 1.0 in 2006 and 2007. Relatively many people are murdered in the former East-bloc countries; in the Baltic States the rate is even more than 6 times the average for Europe.
Wim van den Berg