Nearly 6 thousand anonymous tips over hard drugs, criminal money

Call center operator
Call center operator Photo: DmitryPoch/DepositPhotos

The Netherlands' anonymous tip line Meld Misdaad Anoniem received nearly 5 thousand tips regarding hard drugs and around a thousand reports of criminal money last year - a record number of tips for both these types of crimes, the organization said with its annual figures for 2019, NOS reports.

The number of reports regarding the production of drugs like ecstasy and cocaine and the trafficking thereof increased by almost a third in the past year. The tip line received a total of 6,348 tips regarding soft drugs and 4,493 regarding hard drugs in 2019. There were also 1,577 reports of violent crimes.

There were also 44 percent more tips about money earned through crime. A total of 1,001 financial-economic crimes were reported to the anonymous tip line, and 887 reports of theft and embezzlement. 

According to Marc Janssen from Meld Misdaad Anoniem, the increase in tips about drug crimes and criminal money likely has to do with more attention being paid to these crimes. "People are increasingly recognizing the signals," he said to the broadcaster.

Meld Misdaad Anoniem received a total of 17 thousand useful tips last year, resulting in over 2,200 arrests. Thanks to the tips, the police were also able to destroy 450 thousand cannabis plants and confiscate 216 firearms. 

The workers at the tip line noticed that relatively few reports come from the Randstad. Residents of Zeeland, the west of Noord-Brabant, Limburg and Noord-Nederland most often call the anonymous tip line to report a crime, in proportion to the number of inhabitants. Residents of Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht tip the least. 

According to Janssen, the fact that there are more drug cases in the south plays a role in this. "And there is more of 'we know each other', so people don't dare go to the police because they are afraid that their name will end up in the file. That's why they go to us."