Amsterdam study shows more foreign nationals suspected of petty crime, nuisance
A shift was observed in the group of suspects who have been arrested for nuisance and crime in the center of Amsterdam, which now counts far more foreign nationals and fewer men with Dutch nationality compared to 2019. This emerged from research commissioned by the office of the mayor, and the district offices of the Public Prosecution Service and police, Mayor Femke Halsema wrote in a letter to city council.
The figures seem to confirm the picture that was recently suggested in an article in De Telegraaf. In it, whistleblowers from the police said that "the city center is being terrorized by hopeless, criminal asylum seekers" and that a great deal of police capacity is spent on the issue. Halsema then said that those observations reached the office of the city's leadership, and they ordered the expanded investigation.
The number of registered crime suspects with Dutch nationality decreased in both absolute and relative terms, from the 2019 figure of 3,146 (64 percent) to 1,712 (50 percent) in 2022. The percentage of foreign nationals increased from 34.6 percent to 48.4 percent in 2022 compared to 2019.
The number of Moroccan suspects with a background as an asylum seeker increased from 117 in 2019 to 301 in 2022. The same was true for the number of Algerian suspects with an asylum background, which rose from 140 in 2019 to 286 in 2022. Since the coronavirus measures were lifted this past March, the number of suspects with Moroccan or Polish nationality has increased in particular, while the number of Algerians has remained about the same, and the number of Romanian suspects has fallen.
According to the researchers, in addition to the figures, the experiences of police officers have also been included. Police officers in the center of Amsterdam noticed that citizens trying to seek asylum from "safe" countries often have little or no regard for police officers or community service officers. They also saw an increase in the number of homeless people and rough sleepers in the city centre, which is accompanied by drinking, fights and nuisance.
Furthermore, the police team tackling street robberies indicated "that a large proportion of the suspects arrested for street robbery are foreigners from a safe country. The Police Target Group Team for tackling (among other things) pickpocketing has also seen an increase of criminal aliens in recent months who are suspected of an incident."
Although the total number of offenses committed has increased since the relaxation of the coronavirus measures, it was still lower in all months of 2022 than in 2019.
Reporting by ANP