Fewer young crime suspects

01/03/2013 15:00

According to the police, 262 thousand persons were once or more than once suspected of criminal activities in 2011, a decline by 20 percent relative to 2007. The crime rate fell noticeably among native Dutch and young people.

Most substantial reduction among 12 to 18-year-olds

Proportionally, most suspects registered by the police are under the age of 25, but the gap between this age group and older age groups has narrowed in recent years. The most substantial decline since 2007 (by 36 percent) is observed in the 12-18 age bracket. In 2011, 27 in every thousand people in this age group were registered by the police as crime suspects versus 43 in every thousand in 2007. Nevertheless, with 38 in every thousand, the rate is still highest among 18 to 25-year-olds, although 20 percent down from the 2007 level. In the other age categories, the decline was less obvious. Total registered crime dropped by 8 percent over the same period.

Registered crime suspects by age

Registered crime suspects by age

Crime rate reduction most obvious among young native Dutch and western foreigners

The share of young crime suspects has fallen across all ethnic groups during the past decade, but the decline was not evenly spread across all these groups. With 41 percent, the most substantial reduction relative to 2007 was registered among 12 to 18-year-old native Dutch, followed by 12 to 18-year-olds with a western background. The smallest reduction was registered in the category of young people with a Moroccan background (23 percent). The number of Antillean young crime suspects dropped by one quarter in 2011 compared to 2007. Differences in, for example, education level, income level and housing conditions can only partially account for the higher proportion of crime suspects among young people with a non-western background.

Registered 12 to 18-year-old suspects by ethnic background

Registered 12 to 18-year-old suspects by ethnic background

Moroccan boys most often suspected of criminal activities

One in five Moroccan boys aged between 12 and 18 were registered by the police as crime suspects in 2007, versus one in six in 2011. The share among their native Dutch counterparts declined from one in twenty in 2007 to one in thirty-three in 2011.

As the crime rate among Moroccan boys fell less rapidly than in other ethnic groups, they still had the highest proportion of crime suspects in 2011. They are often involved in property crimes, like theft and burglary. In every thousand Moroccan boys, 103 were suspected of property crimes in 2011; 37 in every thousand were suspected of violent crimes, vandalism and violation of public order.

12 to 18-year-old male suspects by ethnic background and type of crime

12 to 18-year-old male suspects by ethnic background and type of crime

Harry Eggen and Rob Kessels