More murders in Netherlands for first time in 5 years

Forensic investigators at a crime scene
Forensic investigators at a crime scenePhoto: Politie

For the first time in five years, the number of people killed by murder or manslaughter in the Netherlands increased. Last year 158 people were killed in a crime, 50 more than in 2016, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Thursday.

The number of male victims increased sharply last year, 112 compared to 76 in the previous year. The number of female victims increased by 14 to 46. There were more victims in all age groups, according to the stats office. "But in terms of percentage, the increase was most in victims between 10 and 20 years old."

Of the total number of victims, 26 were not from the Netherlands. This number also increased, from 14 in 2016.

Last year the police had a suspect or perpetrator in 90 percent of the cases in which a woman was killed. In 39 percent of these cases, the suspect was the victim's partner or ex. Only in 7 percent of the cases, there was no connection between the female victim and the offender.

When it came to male victims, the police had a suspect in three quarters of the cases. In one in five cases this involved someone from the criminal environment. In 15 percent of the cases no connection could be found between victim and perpetrator. 

"In 12 of the 29 male victims who did not have a perpetrator, it was possible to deduce that this involved a settlement in the criminal circuit", the stats office said, according to "If we add these to the 21 victims who were presumably killed by another criminal, ultimately 33 (29 percent) men were victims in the criminal sphere."  That is 29 percent, compared to 26 percent in 2016. 

The number of people killed in Amsterdam decreased from 24 in 2016 to 16 last year. Rotterdam saw an increase from 8 to 14 victims. In the period between 2013 and 2017, the number of victims of murder or manslaughter in Amsterdam was 2.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, in Rotterdam 1.9 per 100,000. The national average is 0.8.