Rotterdam police: More people killed by disturbed people than terrorism

Dutch police officers arrest a suspect
Dutch police officers arrest a suspectPhoto: Politie

Rotterdam police chief Frank Paauw is very concerned about the increasing number of incidents involving mentally disturbed people. This year the Rotterdam police dealt with 8,200 such incidents, compared to 7 thousand in 2016. "Disturbed people kill more people than terrorism", Paauw said during a press conference about the Rotterdam Police's year, reports.

"Take newspaper deliverer Anita van Dijk who was fatally stabbed out of nowhere in 2016 or the employee of a mental health institution in Hellevoetsluis stabbed to death by a client", Paauw said. He attributes the increasing number of incidents mainly to budget cuts in mental health care. "There are fewer beds, people are more often treated outside a clinic and are then less careful with their medication." At this time, Paauw sees no indications that this will change.

The Rotterdam police takes violence by disturbed people so seriously, that this year it was included in the force's threat assessment.

In other areas, Paauw is more positive. The number of robberies, muggings, and burglaries is steadily decreasing in Rotterdam. Partly thanks to the establishment of a special robbery team, the chance of being caught for one of these crimes is over 50 percent, the police chief said.

There were 18 murders on manslaughters in Rotterdam this year, similar to previous years. Though Paauw pointed out that this number can still increase. Nursing home worker Rahiied A. is currently suspected of killing three people with overdoses of insulin, but the police are also investigating whether he was involved in four other deaths.