Murder, manslaughter up over 5%; Big spike in The Hague

Police at the scene of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, 18 March 2019
Police at the scene of a mass shooting on 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, 18 March 2019Photo: Politie

Murder and manslaughter cases in the Netherlands rose a combined total of 5.6 percent, compared to last year. The figures, calculated up through December 28 by crime journalist Eric Slot, show that 113 people died in 104 separate criminal incidents.

At this point last year, the 107 people killed in 101 incidents were determined to be victims of the violent criminal acts. There are still several cases where the cause of death has not been definitively stated or murder is suspected but a body has not been found, Slot said on platform MoordAtlas.nl.

Although Amsterdam accounted for the highest number of crime scene locations, 17, The Hague saw a sharp rise in such violent crimes. There were 15 known murders or manslaughter incidents there this year, versus five a year earlier. Rotterdam fell from 10 to eight cases, and like in 2018, Utrecht had three of the cases. One of the three was the mass shooting at a tram stop in March that left four people dead.

Amsterdam's figures were nearly level with 2018, when 16 incidents of murder or manslaughter were reported.

Six of this year's crime scenes involved multiple fatalities, accounting for 15 victims in total or roughly 13 percent of the overall total. That's a sharp increase over last year, the website pointed out, where seven people were murdered in two cases with multiple victims.

Drug related murders seems to have fallen to 16 from 22 last year and 39 in 2017. Though street assassinations often generate a significant amount of media coverage, MoordAtlas stated there were 13 such cases in 2019, down from 16.

A knife was used in 41 cases and a firearm was involved 26 times. 

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