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One in five people in the Netherlands a victim of crime05 March 2014, by Ellen Keith
One in five residents of the Netherlands has been the target of crime. This statistic comes from the latest Safety Monitor publication, an annual collaboration between municipalities, the Ministry of Security and Justice, Statistics Netherlands and the National Police Force.
Crime rates stable, but highest in Amsterdam
Safety Monitor addresses public perception of safety and crime and focuses on vandalism, property-related crimes and acts of violence.
The most recent statistics reflect a general level of stability in the Netherlands, as domestic crime rates have not changed significantly in the past year.
In 2013, the crime rate in Amsterdam (30 per cent) was well above the national average. The Hague and the central area of the country also experienced high crime rates, both reaching 21 per cent, with property-related crimes the most prevalent in all three of these areas.
Safety at home
37 per cent of residents in the Netherlands reported feeling unsafe from time to time, which mirrors the figures from 2012. However, fewer people feel safe around their homes.
This past year, 19 per cent of residents acknowledged that they occasionally feel unsafe in their neighbourhoods, a quantity which increased from 18 per cent in 2012.
The number of people who avoid answering their door at night has also grown marginally. In contrast, the negative perception of local youth in Dutch neighbourhoods has changed for the better; fewer people reported hooligan behavior in their area.
However, previous studies have shown that youth are often targeted themselves; in 2012, over one quarter of youth in the Netherlands declared that they had been victims of crime.
Less vandalism, more cybercrime
Although crime rates remain relatively stable overall, the types of crimes committed are changing. For example, fewer cases of vandalism have occurred. In 2013, 7 per cent of the population reported incidents, down from 8 per cent in 2012, with damage to vehicles particularly decreasing.
Violent crime rates did not change from the previous year, but cybercrime is on the rise. Cybercrime was first included in the Safety Monitor report in 2012, when the incident rate was 12 per cent, but it has since grown to 13 per cent. Many of these cases involved scams encountered when shopping online or selling goods and services. On the other hand, the rate of identity fraud dropped slightly.
Safety improving in the Netherlands
These statistics focus on the perception of crime and safety in the country. However, data regarding police-registered crimes in previous years reflects a consistent downswing in national crime.
Overall, people have confidence in the Dutch police, with 58 per cent of respondents affirming that their most recent interaction with the police left them with a positive impression.