NL murders decreased in past decades, but not in criminal circuit
The number of murders in the Netherlands decreased sharply in the past decades, but that does not apply to the criminal environment. In particular, the number of quarrels that culminated in a deadly outbreak of violence fell sharply, Leiden researchers calculated. Robbery- and partner murders are also committed less and less. But among criminals there has been no decline at all since the 1990s.
The number of cases of murder and manslaughter in the underworld in the years between 2012 and 2016 was about the same as between 1997 and 2001, Pauline Aarten and Marieke Liem showed in their study. In these periods there were about 150 cases. In the same period, the number of 'quarrel murders' fell sharply: from 340 to 134. This category includes, for example, fatal fights in the nightlife or murders due to business disputes.
The two scientists keep the Dutch Homicide Monitor updated, which contains a lot of data about deadly crimes. They suspect that different factors also play a role in the different types of deadly violence. The fact that the number of quarrel murders fell sharply may be related to the rise of the internet, they said. "Spending more free time indoors goes hand in hand with spending less time in risky public spaces," wrote the researchers from Leiden University in the European Journal on Criminal and Research.
The decrease in the number of robbery murders is probably related to the switch to digital banking. There is simply less cash to get from people walking down the street. These kinds of developments have much less influence on settlements between criminals, the researchers believe.
In a follow-up study, professor Liem and assistant professor Aarten want to investigate the influence of the coronavirus crisis on murder and manslaughter. They want to find out whether the lockdowns led to a further decrease in the number of robbery murders, for example, or an increase in the number of partner murders.
Reporting by ANP