Overall crime up in 2019; Dramatic surge in online fraud

Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform
Politie patch on a Dutch police officer's uniform. Aug. 20, 2015JoeppoulssenDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The number of reported cases of internet trading fraud​ surged in the Netherlands in 2019, rising 31 percent on the figures of the previous year, the police announced on Wednesday. The police added that, in total, some 70 percent of Dutch had fallen victim to cybercrime in some form or another last year.

The figures follow the release of the Netherlands' 2019 crime statistics, which saw the overall number of registered crimes in the country jump by nearly four percent after many years of steady decline. According to the police, some 800,000 crimes were filed in total in 2019, up from 770,000 the year before.

An increasing number of young people are responsible for the surge in online crimes, the police reported. According to the figures, the proportion of under-18 suspects involved in online fraud cases is increasing sharply, up from 12 percent in 2018 to 29 percent in 2019.

"The police are committed to reversing this trend," the statement continued, pointing out that the online behavior of some 10,000 young people involved in cybercriminality was tracked in 2019 in order to get a sense of how the behavior develops in the first place.

The official final statistics about specific violent crimes in 2019 will likely be released by Statistics Netherlands early next year. The country was home to around 113 cases of murder and manslaughter last year, according to MoordAtlas.nl. Among them were some of the most notorious crimes in recent history: the shooting of four people during an assault on a tram in Utrecht last March, and the murder of attorney Derk Wiersum, which led to the arrest of alleged crime boss Ridouan Taghi.