Well-being here and now: safety

Crime and feeling safe or unsafe directly impact people’s quality of life. Both and the actual risk of being a victim of crime and how safe people feel are relevant in this respect.
  • In 2023, 20 percent of the population said they had been a victim of non-cybercrime. This is higher than in 2021 and also higher than in many other EU countries; the downward trend that had been observed for a number of years has come to a standstill.
  • The trend in the number of registered crimes per 100 thousand inhabitants is still downward.
  • The operational strength of the police (per 100 thousand inhabitants) is decreasing, while at the same time more people say they trust the police.
  • Although the quality of the judicial system is decreasing, it is relatively high compared with most other EU countries.

Well-being 'here and now'


of the population over 15 often feels unsafe in 2023
Often feeling unsafe in the neighbourhood
of the population over 15 are crime victims in 2023
out of 19
in EU
in 2020
Victims of crime
Well-being 'here and now'
Theme Indicator Value Trend Position in EU Position in EU ranking
Safety Often feeling unsafe in the neighbourhood 2.2% of the population over 15 often feels unsafe in 2023
Safety Victims of crime 19.9% of the population over 15 are crime victims in 2023 15th out of 19 in 2020 Low ranking

Colour codes and notes to the dashboards in the Monitor of Well-being

The Safety Monitor shows that 2.2 percent of the population often feel unsafe in their neighbourhood. This is a relatively small group that has remained fairly constant in size over the years. One in five residents reported being a victim of non-cybercrime, for example burglary, theft, and vandalism, in 2023. The previously downward trend (calculated over all available data points in the period 2016-2023) has turned into a stable one.

SDG 16.1 Security and peace seeks to promote a safe society where everyone has access to the justice system. The trend in the percentage of registered crimes continues to decline. In 2023, the police recorded 45.3 crimes per thousand inhabitants, down from 54.8 in 2016. Crime is also increasingly occurring in the digital world. In 2023, 15.6 percent of the population aged 15 and older reported being a victim of cybercrime, slightly down (by 1.3 percentage points) on 2021. The trend in the operational strength of the police, calculated per 100 thousand inhabitants, is declining. This is considered unfavourable in terms of well-being. Trust in the police, on the other hand, is increasing.

The score on the rule of law indicator is decreasing. Rule of law is one of the six World Governance Indicators the World Bank uses to measure good governance. Although the trend is downward, rule of law in the Netherlands scores relatively well in an international perspective: 1.66 on a scale of -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). Within Europe, only Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg and Austria have higher scores. The SDG 16.2 Institutions dashboard comprises additional good governance indicators.