Number of crime victims stable, more cases of vandalism

23/04/2010 15:00
  • More offences due to more acts of vandalism
  • Violent and property crimes stable
  • Number of victims hardly changed
  • Nationwide, feelings of insecurity remained unchanged

Last year, the Dutch population aged 15 years and older faced 6.3 million offences, an increase by 0.4 million relative to the preceding year. The increase mainly concerned various types of vandalism. The number of crime victims hardly changed in 2009. At the end of last year, nearly 27 percent of people indicated they had been victims of common crime in the previous 12 months. The nationwide feeling of insecurity did not change in 2009 compared to 2008.

The above results derive from the National Safety Monitor 2009, a joint publication by Statistics Netherlands, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Justice.

The increase in offences mainly concerns vandalism, like damaging cars and car theft and other types of vandalism, deliberate damaging of houses and gardens. These cases of vandalism have grown by nearly a quarter of a million to more than 2.8 million in 2009. Violent crimes and crimes against property, e.g. burglary and car theft were stable compared to 2008.

At the end of 2009, nearly 27 percent of people interviewed indicated they had been victims of common crime in the prior 12 months. The proportion is about the same as in 2008. For other types of offences, the number of victims also remained more or less stable relative to the preceding year.

The overall feeling of insecurity in the Netherlands has not changed. More than one in four respondents (26 percent) reported at the end of 2009 they occasionally felt unsafe, almost the same proportion as at the end of 2008. In police districts in urban areas, people more often feel insecure than in the Dutch population as a whole.

In the Amsterdam-Amstelland region, the feeling of insecurity is most widespread. More than one in three residents (35 percent) of Amsterdam-Amstelland report to feel occasionally unsafe. The proportion in the police districts of Haaglanden and Rotterdam-Rijnmond varies around 30 percent. The number of crime victims is also usually higher in these highly urbanised areas. Reversely, in sparsely populated police districts, the crime rate is generally lower. These patterns do not always apply to specific cities or areas within police districts.

Nearly two in three offences (64 percent) are committed within people’s own neighbourhoods. With 62 percent, the rate is marginally higher than in 2008. More people tend to feel unsafe in their own neighbourhood. At the end of last year, 17 percent of survey participants reported they occasionally felt unsafe in their own neighbourhood, versus 15 percent in 2008. People feel particularly unsafe in places where groups of young people are hanging about, areas where lots of people go out and in railway stations.