Less "classic crime" but more emergencies last year
The police registered 741,111 crimes last year, a decrease of 7 percent compared to 2020. The number of reports to emergency number 112 increased to over 3.2 million in 2021, almost 150,000 more than the previous year. The police announced this on Wednesday on Accountability Day in political The Hague.
The amount of "classic crime" - burglaries, robberies, muggings - decreased in 2021 as it did in 2020, but the urgent demand for the police had never been greater. This was reflected in the number of 112 reports, reports of nuisance (536,946, +11 percent), and the number of demonstrations the police supervised.
The second coronavirus year 2021 started "stormy" for police officers on the street with curfew riots throughout the country. The police also had to enforce later in the year, for example, in November in Rotterdam when people got hurt in riots on Coolsingel, and dozens of mostly young people were arrested.
"2021 will go down in the books as a year in which the contradictions in society were sometimes significant," said Chief of Police Henk van Essen. "The police were there when people needed us, despite shortages and the pressure." In addition to riots, social discontent also manifested in harassment and threats against politicians, scientists, journalists, aid workers, and the police.
Van Essen: "If I look at last year and see how strong the contradictions sometimes were, the question arises what is going on in society. As a society, we collectively face a great responsibility. We should determine together where boundaries lie. What do we think is normal? In my opinion, parents and guardians, schools, youth workers, employers, and the media also have an explicit role to play in addition to the police. Criminal enforcement is then the final element of a joint approach."
The police called the murder of Peter R. De Vries in July 2021 a sad, low point. "That murder shocked the whole of the Netherlands," said Van Essen. "Partly thanks to quick and professional action, we immediately arrested two suspects. But the threats from the underworld are causing a sharp increase in demand for surveillance and security. Therefore, we have decided to make this a main task for the police, just like emergency aid and investigation."
Reporting by ANP