In the last ten years, the number of people in the Netherlands who said they had been the victim of common crimes such as violence, property crime and vandalism has fallen substantially. Fewer people also say they do not feel safe. In the past year, neighbourhood nuisance, too, has decreased. Crime, feelings of unsafety and nuisance are most frequent in the four large cities. These are some of the results of the Safety monitor 2014, a large scale population survey conducted by Statistics Netherlands, the Ministry of Security and Justice, the National Police and the municipalities.
Number of victims down by nearly one third since 2005
The number of persons aged 15 and older who said they had been the victim of frequently occurring crimes fell by 30 percent overall in the period 2005-2014. In 2005, nearly three in ten people in the Netherlands (28 percent) were affected, in 2014 this was just under two in ten (19 percent). The largest decrease was for vandalism, followed by property crimes such as burglary and theft, and violence, such as abuse or threatening behaviour.
The reported decrease in crime corresponds to the development in crime figures recorded by the police.
One quarter fewer people do not feel safe
Feelings of unsafety also decreased in this period, although by less. While nearly half the population (48 percent) said they sometimes did not feel safe in 2005, in 2014 this was just over one in three (36 percent); a decrease of more than one quarter.
People aged 18-34 years most often do not feel safe. This is also the age group with relatively most victims of frequently occurring crimes. For the over-65s this is the other way around: older people - especially over-75s - are slightly more vulnerable in terms of burglary and pickpocketing/mugging.
Fewer Dutch experience nuisance in own neighbourhood
In 2014, 44 percent of the population said they experienced nuisance in their own neighbourhood. This is two percentage points lower than in 2013 and 2012. The most reported problem is traffic behaviour, such as speeding and aggressive behaviour (just over three in ten inhabitants). Physical degeneration, for example vandalism and graffiti were mentioned by just over two in ten people. One in ten of the population say they are bothered by social problems such as youths hanging around, drug users and drunks in the street. But all three of these problems showed an improvement in 2014 compared with the previous two years.
Most victims, unsafety feelings and neighbourhood problems in four large cities
More inhabitants in the most urban police districts of the four largest cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht -said they had been the victim of violent crime, property crime and vandalism than in other less urbanised districts. The share of people who say they do not feel safe is also largest in these large cities, just as the percentage of people experiencing problems in their own neighbourhood.