Criminal charges far more likely against ethnically diverse than white Dutch: Study
The chance of a young person with an ethically diverse background being suspected of a crime is two to three times higher than for a white young person in the Netherlands, sociologists at Erasmus University found in a study done for the police.
"We investigated the backgrounds of the young people who do and do not come into contact with the police. This makes it possible to see which type of young people have a greater chance of being characterized as suspects," researcher Willemijn Bezemer said to NOS. The most significant differences were found between ethnic groups. "And the accumulation between certain characteristics such as place of residence and education level."
A white girl in a small town attending pre-university education and with highly educated parents are least likely to be suspected of a crime. Boys of Moroccan or Antillean descent from the city with a pre-vocational secondary education level are most likely to be suspected.
"Ethnic profiling may be part of the explanation, but other factors may also play a role," Bezemer said to the broadcaster. "For example, it is often citizens who call the police in certain situations. It is a problem at play throughout society. A lot of police work is reactive. They are called, and then officers have to do something."
"We hope that the police see this study as an opportunity to learn and that they will continue to monitor it," researcher Arjen Leerkes said to the Volkskrant. He, too, pointed out that citizens who call the police can also draw lessons from this study.