More minor girls suspected of crimes in Netherlands, mostly shoplifting
The number of girls suspected of a crime by the police is growing. In 2022, 17,500 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 were suspected of a crime, over a quarter of whom were girls. Suspicions against them mainly concerned shoplifting. The proportion of girls in the total group of minor suspects has never been this large before.
That is evident from the Youth Crime Monitor published on Monday, a report that the scientific bureau of the Ministry of Justice and Security, the WODC, publishes every few years in collaboration with Statistics Netherlands.
A total of 1.4 percent of all young people aged 12 to 18 were suspected of a crime in 2022, according to the report. Between 2010 and 2021, the number of suspects halved, but that decline seems to be coming to an end.
In 2022, the number of initial suspects in this age category increased by 12 percent compared to the previous year once the statistics were finalized. More than a tenth of suspects formally registered by the police were under 18 years old. Boys still form the majority, but the growth among girls was relatively stronger at 42 percent.
The number of girls suspected of shoplifting increased by 70 percent with the 2022 final data. Despite the increase, the group of boys considered suspects was still somewhat larger, according to the report.
Girls made up nearly half of all suspected shoplifters. Those under 18 who were suspected of crimes such as domestic burglary and weapons-related offenses were almost entirely boys.
In 2022, there were a total of 6,200 underage suspects of shoplifting. That is 2,200 more than in 2021 and also sets a peak for the past decade. According to the researchers, the sharp increase compared to 2021 is partly due to the closing of shops during the coronavirus crisis.
The number of minors suspected of a weapon incident increased by 7 percent to 1,200.
In 2022, 40 percent of all suspects between the ages of 12 and 18 lived in one of the 25 largest municipalities in the Netherlands. At the same time, 31 percent of all young people in that age group lived in one of those cities.
Amsterdam led all big cities for most underage crime suspects per capita, with 25 per 1,000 underage residents. Of the 25 largest municipalities, Breda and Apeldoorn had the lowest proportion of underage suspects. Breda’s total was 9 per 1,000 underage residents, while Apeldoorn’s per capita total was 10.
Reporting by ANP