527 shootings registered in Netherlands last year: report

Shooting on the corner of Oudedijk and Willem Ruyslaan in Rotterdam, 17 Oct 2018
Shooting on the corner of Oudedijk and Willem Ruyslaan in Rotterdam, 17 Oct 2018. (Photo: Politie)

The police registered a total of 527 shooting incidents throughout the Netherlands last year. That amounts to 1.5 shootings per day. A total of 44 people were killed in shootings in a year in a half, the Telegraaf reports based on figures requested from the National Police.

So far this year, a total of 240 shooting incidents were registered. That is a slight decrease compared to the same period last year. The newspaper has no figures regarding shooting incidents prior to 2018. 

Automatic weapons are often used in shootings, especially in incidents related to organized crimes. Yet the number of automatic firearms seized by the police is decreasing. In 2017 the police seized 101 such weapons, 76 in 2018 and 38 so far this year. In 2017 the police seized 3,798 firearms in total, and 1,560 so far this year. The Kalashnikov, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Uzi pistol machine gun, and the Walther P99 police firearm were most often seized. 

"This is what we can record in terms of incidents and number of weapons. Not every shooting incident is reported to us and we cannot estimate how many weapons are in circulation", Dick Schouten, in charge of the weapons portfolio at the police, said to the newspaper.

A worrying development is the increased use of explosives in hand grenades, especially for extortion and intimidation. Explosives are increasingly left at businesses and homes. In 2017 there were 22 incidents involving explosives. Last year there were 43 - the same number as recorded in the first six months of this year. "The grenades can be bought for 10 euros and you can transport them in a lunch box. It is a worrying development. There are various investigations into the trade in explosives", Schouten said to the newspaper.

Amsterdam - where there were 5 incidents involving explosives in April, including three in one week - established a task force and gave it one year to come up with measures to deal with this problem. 

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