A sign hanging in front of a Dutch police post. April 30, 2006 - Credit: Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Michiel1972 / Wikimedia Commons - License: CC-BY-SA
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 13:14
Crime curtailed, cops claim
According to crime figures published by the police, there was less crime in 2013 than the previous year. Police chief constable Gerard Bouman says he is happy about the decrease in the figures, and that it proves good results from the reorganization that took place in the last year. The police spent more time on "high impact crime" such as street robberies, assaults, break-ins and violence, which affect citizens more often. Extra measures were taken to prevent break-ins at homes. Together with local authorities, the Public Prosecution Authority and other partners, the police instituted measures such as the "dark days offensive" which grappled with the increase in crime rates during the darker winter months. Overall, the crime rates for 2013 improved significantly compared to the previous year. In 2013, there was an 18 percent decline in assaults (1633), 12 percent less street robberies (7017), five percent less break-ins at homes (87,177) and seven percent less cases of violence (92,285). The police is expecting a further ten percent decline in assault figures this year on grounds of experience, as well as in other delinquent activities. Home invasions declined by five percent compared to 2012, even though break-in attempts didn't vary in numbers in both years. In opposition, there were 15 percent more break-ins and thefts of basements, garages and sheds. The police cite a possible catalyst for this as the popularity of electrical bicycles. There were also more pickpockets on the streets in 2013, at 13 percent more than in 2012. In almost half of these cases, mobile phones were the target. Last year, this was still one third. The police say that most assault cases concern repeat offenders. The decline in assault cases is mainly due to the fact that suspects were detained and could therefore not commit crimes. An emphasis on offender-oriented prevention by the police includes offering different perspectives. The police worked together on this with the Safety house as well as the municipality. Abuse cases were reported six percent less last year. This involves assault, rape and sexual abuse of a minor. In about 85 percent of these cases, victim and offender know each other. Cases of child pornography numbered 3790 last year, which the police have countered with an attention shift from downloaders and possessors to spreaders, producers, abusers and victims of child pornography. "Crime figures are never pleasant, because behind every percentage, there is a lot of unlawfulness, misery and sorrow, but police people deserve a big compliment" chief constable Gerard Bouman said.