Crime down 5 pct in Amsterdam; Drop seen in most of Netherlands

Dutch police
A sign hanging in front of a Dutch police post. April 30, 2006Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Michiel1972Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

Crime in Amsterdam fell by 5 percent in 2017 compared to the year before. There were fewer cases of pickpockets, muggings, and violent threats, but the number of home burglaries and robberies increased. Nationwide crime is steadily declining,  according to figures the National Police will publish on Thursday, the Volkskrant reports. 

The police compared figures for the years 2015 to 2017 from municipalities with more than 50 thousand inhabitants, according to the newspaper. In many municipalities the number of muggings and trade in soft- and hard drugs declined over these three years. 

The biggest regional differences could be seen in drug crime, according to the newspaper. Drug trade and possession are most common in the four large cities, with Amsterdam taking the lead. Over the past thee years, the police recorded over two thousand cases of hard drug possession and caught more than a thousand dealers in the Dutch capital. Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht follow at a considerable distance. 

The southern provinces saw the most production of synthetic drugs like ecstasy and speed. Over the past three years, the police found 127 cases hard drug production in Noord-Brabant and 57 in Limburg. The rest of the country combined saw only 136 such cases. Half of the drug labs the police cleared were in Noord-Brabant or Limburg. 

The burglary figures for 2015 to 2017 show that New Year's is the most popular time for burglars to be active. Though this too shows a decline. Over New Year's 2015 around 550 homes were burgled, compared to 475 in 2017. The Christmas period is second favorite among burglars, especially Boxing Day. On December 26th, 2015 over 400 homes were broken into, and 350 a year later. The holiday months of July and August are also popular among burglars.