One in twenty of the Dutch population afraid of being burgled

16/06/2009 15:00

Just over one in twenty of the Dutch population think that the risk of having their home broken into is high to very high. Just over one in hundred of the population have actually experienced a burglary, while a similar number have experienced a failed attempt.

Perceived risk of break-in within one year

Perceived risk of break-in within one year

High risk of repeated break-in

After a burglary or attempted burglary, there is a high risk that this will happen again to the same victim. Of the people who had experienced a burglary in the four years preceding 2008, four times as many experienced a break-in in 2008 as those who had not been burgled in the previous four years. The fear of a break-in among those who have recently experienced such an event is even greater: five times as many of them expect to be burgled again compared with those who have not recently experienced a break-in.

Burglary and attempted burglary in the last twelve months

Burglary and attempted burglary in the last twelve months

Influence of neighbourhood less than expected

Burglaries occur more frequently in some neighbourhoods than in others. in urban neighbourhoods with high concentrations of people with a non-western foreign background, for example, four times as many residents perceive the risk of burglary as high or very high as residents in urban neighbourhoods with fewer people with a non-western foreign background. In reality this influence is smaller: in the neighbourhoods with high concentrations of non-western foreigners burglary occurs twice as often.

Burglaries in urban neighbourhoods, by percentage of non-western residents

Burglaries in urban neighbourhoods, by percentage of non-western residents

Residents in neighbourhoods with poor outside lighting are four times as likely to perceive the risk of burglary as high as residents in well-lit neighbourhoods. The ‘encouraging’ effects of darkness are in fact less strong. Burglaries occur twice as often in very poorly lit neighbourhoods. 

Perceived risk of burglary also correlates with the extent of contact residents have with each other. This correlation turns out to be quite true to form: residents in areas where there is little contact with neighbours are twice as likely to perceive the risk of a break-in as high as residents in neighbourhoods with more contact between neighbours. In these anonymous neighbourhoods, break-ins are indeed twice as common.

Carin Reep