Dutch underestimate dangers Roma-gangs

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Dutch underestimate the danger of itinerant Roma gangs. They are very professional, well-organized and trained criminals who steal commissioned.Utrecht criminologists state that this week in Vrij Nederland.

Pickpockets, car and shoplifters, skimmers, scammers, burglars, and beggars pose the biggest threat, according to researcher Dina Siegel.

These so-called mobile perpetrators are professional, well-organized, and trained criminals who steal commissioned. They know in advance exactly how much and what they want, what brand and type. The money earned is largely channeled back to their homeland, where it is invested in real estate and cars.

These are not criminal nomads who work for themselves, not a few Romanians who steal some mobile devices during Gay Pride. These people are sent to the Netherlands to steal three- to four hundred devices for the criminal market.

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M. Minderhoud
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The perpetrators perceive Dutch as 'gullible' people and 'naïve' in life. They think because Netherlands is a multicultural country and nationals are accustomed to foreigners, they  are not suspicious.

The Dutch Retail interest group reports a yearly loss of 250 million euro for the middle class, of which 206 million euros for shoplifting and between 40 and 50 million for store burglary.

Data from the police show that 21 percent of shoplifting is committed by mobile criminal groups from Central and Eastern Europe, of which Romanians make out the majority.

Siegel's research shows almost all are Roma. She admits to the magazine that she breaks a taboo, but states it's not her opinion, it's an observation: pickpockets, beggars, and shoplifters are for the better part Roma.

The professor points to a letter of Minister Ivo Opstelten of Justice two years ago, in which he wondered if there was mobile banditry in the Netherlands. That was very naïve. She wants to make clear in this research its a huge problem still growing.

France and Spain have become more repressive, resulting in the Roma taking to the north.

Meanwhile, the National Police in the Netherlands are engaged in tackling crime of itinerant foreign gangs, according to the magazine.

Professor Siegel, associated with the Utrecht Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Sciences, conducted her research into itinerant Eastern and Central European gangs in Netherlands last year.

Commissioned by Police & Science, a division of the Police Academy, the researcher and her team studied the composition of those gangs, the offenses, the method, the destination of the spoils and prevention and repressive measures of the government over the period 2008-2012.

They interviewed 127 stakeholders, including police officers, offenders, scientists, prisoners, and market vendors.

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