Netherlands sees increase in registered crimes for first time in 5 years

Police officers on a crowded street
Police officers on a crowded streetPhoto: Politie

After five consecutive years of consistent decrease, the number of crimes registered in the Netherlands increased in the first quarter of 2019. In the first three months of this year, 5 percent more crimes were registered than in the first quarter of 2018, according to figures the police released on Monday. 

The number of cases reported under the murder or manslaughter heading, which includes homicide, illegal assisted suicide, forced abortion and other crimes against life, decreased across the Netherlands from 661 in the first quarter of 2018 to 577 in the first quarter of this year. In Amsterdam the number of these reports dropped by 9 percent, contributing to an overall decrease in Noord-Holland. Zuid-Holland, on the other hand, saw a slight increase of 2 percent. 

The fall in the number of burglaries continued in the first quarter - there were 16 percent fewer registered burglaries than in the same period last year. There was a 12 percent decrease in reported sex crimes across the country, including a very slight decrease in child pornography cases. Sex crime reports fell by 17 percent in Zuid-Holland and 12 percent in Noord-Brabant, but Noord-Holland saw an increase of 11 percent. 

But other forms of crimes increased. The number of reported robberies increased by 22 percent. Meal and package deliverers in particular more often fell victim to robbers. There were also more robberies on homes, shops and snack bars. Reports of discrimination also increased, particularly in Zuid-Holland where the reports went up fro 121 to 156. Rotterdam saw an increase in discrimination reports from 12 in the first quarter of 2018 to 37 in the first quarter of 2019. 

Reports of fraud targeting citizens, businesses and financial institutions increased by 27 percent. Internet fraud increased by 38 percent, the police said. 

The police partly attribute the increase in registered crimes to adjustments made on online reporting and the government introducing a DigiD app. This made reporting crimes on the police website easier. The police adjusting its method of registering crimes also played a role. Various violations in the same crime now get their own registration. For example, in an armed mugging, the robbery and weapons possession are now registered as separate crimes.



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