Crime reports, arrests fall in Netherlands for 2nd straight year

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

Registered crime in the Netherlands dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, according to the criminal law and enforcement report published by Statistics Netherlands, scientific research and documentation center WODC and the Judicial Council on Monday. The police registered fewer crimes and arrested fewer suspects in 2016 than in 2015, resulting a decrease in cases through almost the entire criminal law chain.

Last year the police registered a total of 930 thousand crimes, 5.1 percent less than in 2015 and 29 percent less than in 2007. A total of 270 thousand suspects were registered, a decrease of 11 percent compared to 2015 and 46 percent compared to 2007. The police arrested 182 thousand people last year. According to the stats office, the difference in the number of suspects and number of detainees can be explained by some detainees being suspected of more than one crime. 

The fact that the police registered fewer crimes and arrested fewer suspects, also meant less work for the Public Prosecutor and the courts. The Public Prosecutor's cases dropped by 1 percent and the court handled 11 percent fewer cases last year. 

Statistics Netherlands points out that the decrease in registered crimes does not automatically mean that fewer crimes are committed in the Netherlands. According to the stats office, Netherlands residents' willingness to report crime is relatively low, only a small part of cybercrime was included in these figures and the poll among victims only asked about the most common forms of crime. 

This report was based on an analysis of previously released figures and was done in cooperation with the National Police and Public Prosecutor.