Dutch registered crime drops 20 pct in four years

Crime scene tape
Crime scene tapePhoto: Politie

Registered common crimes in the Netherlands, including burglaries, violence and theft, dropped by 20 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to Statistics Netherlands on Wednesday. Crime experienced by Dutch, registered in the national victimization survey Safety Monitor, reduced by 13 percent. People living in the Netherlands also feel safer, ANP reports. 

Five years ago 37 percent of Dutch sometimes felt unsafe on the street. Last year that dropped to 35 percent. Residents also feel less threatened in their own neighborhoods - 18 percent in 2012 and 16 percent last year. The number of police registered burglaries dropped by over 40 percent in 2016 compared to 2012.

According to Statistics Netherlands, comparing the police registered crime rates and the experience of citizens registered in the Safety Monitor shows the same downward trend. Over the past five years citizens reported 19 percent less vandalism, 11 percent fewer property crimes like theft and 7 percent fewer violent crimes to the Safety Monitor. The police registered crimes decreased even more. 

Based on the Safety Monitor, 4.4 million crimes related to violence, property and vandalism were reported last year. That is a decrease of 600 thousand compared to 2012. Not all of these crimes were reported to the police. Last year the police filed 930 thousand reports of crimes. In 2012 that was 1.2 million. 

According to the statistics office, the fact that recorded crime fell faster than that experienced by citizens, has several explanations. One is that smaller crimes were also recorded in the Safety Monitor, while the police only file reports on actual crimes. The Safety Monitor also showed that between 2012 and 2016 victims filed fewer charges.

National Police Chief Erik Akerboom is pleased with the largely positive trend the Safety Monitor shows "I am talking about the national trend", Akerboom said to the news wire. "At the level of units and districts there are of course differences. We see that social cohesion slightly increased in neighborhoods according to the residents. The physical decay is clearly decreasing, but compared to 2015 in neighborhoods social nuisance and traffic problems increased again slightly."