Most crimes not reported to the police

02/11/2010 15:00

Most crimes experienced by the Dutch population are not reported to the police. Victims report only about a third of offences to the police and only a quarter are actually officially recorded. These percentages have not really changed in recent years.

“It won’t do any good”

The main reason not to report crimes is because victims feel “it won’t do any good” (36 percent) or that the incident “was not important enough”. The main reasons to report an incident were that the police “should be aware of it” (25 percent) and to be able to claim insurance compensation (23 percent; reporting is often compulsory for insurance claims).

Crimes reported and recorded, by type of offence, 2009

Crimes reported and recorded, by type of offence, 2009

Property offences most reported

Two out of three crimes against property, such as attempted or actual, theft from cars and pickpocketing are reported; bicycle theft and other theft are reported slightly less often. The percentage of property crimes recorded is above average, especially for burglary and theft from cars.

Different reasons to report crimes

Insurance is the main reason to report theft from cars to the police. The main reason for reporting bicycle theft and pickpocketing is to get the stolen property back. Victims of burglary usually report it because they want the person responsible to be caught.

Unreported offences by reason not to report them, 2009

Unreported offences by reason not to report them, 2009

Violent crimes rarely reported

Violent crime such as threatening behaviour and especially sexual offences are not only rarely reported, they are also rarely recorded. Only 3 percent of all sexual offences are recorded; and only 11 percent of threats. Assault is reported more often.

Victims do not report sexual offences and threatening behaviour mainly because they feel the incident was not important enough. Assault is mainly not reported because victims do not want the police involved.

Reported offences by reason to report them, 2009

Reported offences by reason to report them, 2009

About one quarter of vandalism offences (damage to cars and other vandalism) are reported; about one in six are recorded. The main reason to report car vandalism is to insurance compensation.

Harry Huys