Netherlands crime rate continues to fall; Amsterdam still most dangerous city

Crime scene tape
Crime scene tapePhoto: Politie

Last year the number of reported crimes in the Netherlands dropped by 8 percent, continuing its declining trend over the past years, according to newspaper AD's annual Crime Meter. Amsterdam also saw a decrease in crime, but the Dutch capital is still the most dangerous city to live in crime-wise.

The AD crime meter takes 10 types of common crime into account, an 2016 saw a decrease in all 10 types, especially in the number of thefts. Nationwide home burglaries decreased by 14 percent, pickpocketing decreased by 13 percent and muggings by 12 percent. 

Amsterdam maintains its number one position for crime rate. Overall the city saw a drop in crime equal to the national average, -8 percent. There was a decrease in all types of crime in Amsterdam, except for vandalism, which increased by 0.1 percent, and robberies, which remained stable. Home burglaries and pickpocketing saw the biggest decreases, -15.4 percent and -14.4 percent respectively.

The rest of the top five most dangerous cities in the Netherlands, in order, include Eindhoven (3rd in 2015), Rotterdam (4th in 2015), Gouda (9th in 2015) and Arnhem (5th in 2015). In 2015 Maastricht was the second most dangerous city in the Netherlands. The city saw a significant decrease in crime, including 40 percent fewer burglaries and 35 percent fewer robberies, and is now in 7th place. 

The top five safest municipalities in the Netherlands are Tubbergen, Sint-Anthonis, Ten Boer, Oudewater and Dinkelland.

AD attributes the national 8 percent decrease in crime primarily to improvement in larger cities in the country. The number of crime reports of burglary, theft, robbery and assault increased in more than half of the smaller municipalities. This seems to indicate that criminals in the Netherlands are moving to the countryside, according to the newspaper. Despite this the countryside is, on balance, still safer than the cities, as can be seen in the five unsafe municipalities consisting exclusively of cities and the five safest all being countryside municipalities. 

Violent crimes remain the most persistent problem in the country. Nationwide violent crimes only decreased by 3 percent, compared to the 12 percent decrease in car thefts, muggings and burglaries. 167 municipalities even saw an increase in assaults.