Drenthe and Zeeland safest Dutch provinces, fewest murders over past 25 years: report

Crime scene (Photo: Politie)Crime scene (Photo: Politie)

As far as murders go, Drenthe and Zeeland are the safest provinces in the Netherlands, according to Elsevier's annual murder list. Over the past 25 years, the fewest murders were committed in those provinces. Zuid-Holland had the most murders in that period, NU.nl reports based on the Elsevier list. 

In absolute numbers, not adjusted for population size, Assen was the safest provincial capital. The Hague was the most dangerous. Amsterdam came in second place, with 802 murder victims and Rotterdam took third with 568 murders. Utrecht is the largest city with the fewest murders, with "only" 88 victims over the past 25 years. 

The number of murders in the Netherlands more than halved since the early 90's. In 1992 there were 260 murders in the country. In 2016 there were 108. This is particularly impressive when taking into account that the Dutch population only grew in this time. 

A third of the unnatural deaths in the Netherlands involved murders within the family. Two thirds of murders were committed with a firearm or stabbing weapon. Three quarters of victims are men, as is the vast majority of suspects. Over the past 25 years, 80 percent of murder cases in the Netherlands were solved.

For the past few years the average murder rate in the Netherlands has been around 1 per 100 thousand inhabitants, putting the Netherlands in line with most Western and Northern European countries. Across Europe the average is 3 murders per 100 thousand inhabitants. The worldwide average is 6.2. El Salvador was the most murderous country last year, with 116 murders per 100 thousand inhabitants.