Amsterdam street crime down, homicides up, smartphones hot

Amsterdam in 2014 saw a significant drop in muggings, pickpocketing and robberies but an increase in underworld-related assassinations and violent deaths, reveal figures released on Monday by the municipality.

Muggings fell by approximately 20 percent, a notable contrast to the city's 2.5 percent increase in robberies between 2012 and 2013. Pickpocketing was also down, falling 17 percent in 2014 from the year before. Smartphones remain thieves’ “beloved booty,” the object of a quarter of all muggings, the police report.

The total 185 reported robberies last year translates to a 32 percent decrease in Amsterdam’s overall robberies, which the figures show have been cut in half over the last five years. The category distinguishes between home invasions and commercial burglaries, the latter of which, at 68 percent, comprise the majority of all robberies. Home invasions fell from a total of 70 incidents to 59.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam saw a rise last year in the number of street-level assassinations, or liquidaties, defined by the municipality as a specific, usually conflict-driven act against a person in the underworld. In 2014, there were ten assassinations, two more than the year prior. All cases from last year remain under investigation and the police are holding suspects in two of them.

Police revealed during the statistics presentation that they believe they successfully prevented two more assassinations from occurring in recent weeks.

The total number of violent deaths has also been on the rise over the last three years, though these figures have generally fluctuated for years, according to the municipality.

“Amsterdam should not be a safe haven for members of rival groups, their leaders, facilitators, brokers and criminal funders. We're working to ensure that Amsterdam society does not further accommodate these types of serious criminals,” states the municipality report.

Last week convicted criminal Siegmar Flaneur was identified as the victim of an execution-style shooting in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. Earlier this month, special police task forces in Amsterdam arrested three men as part of a criminal investigation into the illegal possession of weaponry.