Number of minors suspected of stabbings steadily high, more knives seized
The number of minors suspected of involvement in stabbing incidents did not rise further last year, police confirmed to NOS. More than 400 young people were suspected of stabbing attacks during 2020. The number is close to the level of 2019, but two times higher than that of 2018.
In a report published in Blauw magazine, police said that juvenile delinquency is increasingly shifting to cities. The level of crime in suburban areas that were previously viewed as crime hotspots now appears to be declining. Simultaneously, urban areas are seeing an increase.
"We see this tendency not only in the Randstad but in cities throughout the Netherlands," said Pauline Klomp, head of Care and Security at the National Police.
The police are particularly concerned about a growing number of young people who regularly carry knives with them. Youth workers warned about the dangerous street culture, and gun and knife ownership among young people last year. Mayors then asked for knives to be banned from streets. The Cabinet said in November they were working on such a directive.
Meanwhile, the number of knives confiscated from young people continues to rise. "But that may also have to do with the fact that we pay more attention to it and keep track of it better," Klomp said.
"Cooperation between all partners in the field of care, safety and law is essential. Children often struggle with problems in several areas, such as poverty, a difficult home situation or an older brother who has already come into contact with the law," Klomp argued.
"You want to know those problems as early as possible in order to be able to offer help or intervene," Klomp concluded.