Many suspects also victims

08/09/2009 15:00

Persons suspected of criminal activities one and a half times as often fall victim to criminal offences as people who have never been suspected of criminal activities. This applies in particular to violent crimes, crimes against property and vandalism. Frequent re-offenders more often fall victim to criminal activities than people who have only once been involved in criminal activities.

Four in ten suspects also victims

Each year, more than one quarter of the Dutch population fall victim to a criminal offence. It mainly concerns crimes against property, (e.g. burglary, theft) or vandalism. Violent crimes like physical abuse and threat are much rarer.
 
People who commit crimes relatively often also become crime victims. In the period 1996-2006, 40 percent of criminal suspects became crime victims themselves in the year the survey was conducted. The violent crime victim rate is 2.5 times as high as the average in the Dutch population. The proportion of victims of crimes against property and vandalism is also much higher among suspects than the average in the population as a whole. 

Crime victims in the past year, 2005-2007

Crime victims in the past year, 2005-2007

Risk higher for perpetrators of violent crimes and vandalism

Suspects of vandalism and violent crimes most often become crime victims themselves; nearly half of them in the year the survey was conducted. The proportion of victims of violent crimes in particular was high compared to suspects of traffic offences and vandalism.
More than one in three suspects of traffic offences heard by the police became victims themselves as against one in four non-suspects.

Victims among suspects by type of crime, 2005-2007

Victims among suspects by type of crime, 2005-2007

Re-offenders run relatively high risk

Persons suspected of having committed more than one crime more often become victims of criminal offences than those suspected of having committed only one crime. For instance, 44 percent of persons suspected of multiple crimes became crime victims themselves in the year the survey was held, as opposed to 38 percent of those suspected of only one crime. No less than 16 percent of multiple offenders fell victim to violent crimes.

Victims among crime suspects by criminal history, 2005-2007

Victims among crime suspects by criminal history, 2005-2007

The relatively high risk for perpetrators to become victims is partly accounted for by the similarities between perpetrator and victim with respect to lifestyle, the way they spend their leisure time, their (criminal) social network and the neighbourhood they live in. The risk is particularly high in the case of violent crimes, property crimes and vandalism.

Carin Reep and Ko Oudhof