Beach goers massively targeted by pickpockets

The beach in Vrouwenpolder, Zeeland. Source: Flickr/d_vdm

Beach goers are a prime target for pickpockets and other types of thieves. The number of lighter property crimes shows a clear peak along the coast during the summer months. In the 2016 to 2018 period, over a quarter of registered pickpocketing crimes were registered in July and August, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday.

Lighter property crimes involve money-driven crimes that are less invasive to the victim's privacy than more serious property crimes, like muggings or burglary. All forms of these crimes are more common along the coast in the summer months than in the rest of the year. Between 2016 and 2018, 27 percent of pickpocketings, 25 percent of bicycle thefts, and 23 percent of thefts from cars or other vehicles along the coast happened in August or July, the stats office reported.

65 percent of people who fell victim to a pickpocket on the coast came from a different municipality than where the crime took place. 25 percent of bicycle theft victims came from another municipality, and 29 percent of the people who had items stolen from their vehicle. In the rest of the country, people more often fall victim to a pickpocket in their residential municipality. 

Other types of crimes, such as violent crimes and vandalism, are also more common on the coast during the summer than in the rest of the year.