More and more minors involved in serious violent crimes
The level of youth crime in the Netherlands decreased between 2015 and 2021 compared to 15 years before. However, the number of serious violent crimes committed by minors during this time period is on the rise.
Specifically, cases involving teenagers handled within the criminal justice system are becoming more serious and complex. The number of young offenders who were convicted of manslaughter increased by more than half since 2016 to 45 in 2019. The number of underage juvenile offenders involving theft increased by 13 percent to 604 in 2019.
In addition, the proportion of minors registered by the police as suspects of incidents involving weapons during 2020 was two percent higher than in the previous year. Among young adults, the rise was significantly greater at 11 percent.
Although it concerns small numbers of youngsters in absolute terms, they do commit serious crimes with a major impact on society, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) concluded.
The decline in juvenile delinquency that started around 2007 appears to have stagnated. For example, the proportion of minors who themselves indicated to have committed an offense in 2020 was 37%, just as high as in 2015. Compared to 2015, the number of convicted minors in 2019 dropped by a third to five per thousand.
In 2020, there were 13 minors suspected of crimes for every 1,000 people in the 12 to 18 year old age group. While that figure has fallen each year since 2007, it slowed significantly during the last four years. About 20 out of every 1,000 were convicted in 2008, which fell to eight by 2013, but the steep drop stalled at five in 2019.
Twenty young adults out of every thousand were suspected of a crime in 2020, down from a peak of 51 in 2007. Convictions fell from 36 in 2006, down to 20 in 2016, and further to 16 out of every 1,000 in 2019.
The data emerged as part of a study jointly carried out by the Youth Crime Monitor at the CBS and the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) of the Ministry of Justice.