Increase in registered crimes for the first time in seven years
the Dutch police recorded an increase in the number of registered crimes for the first time since 2012. While instances of “traditional crimes” have decreased, cybercrime has skyrocketed.
First increase in registered crime in seven years
According to annual crime statistics, 2019 saw the first increase in registered crime in seven years. Back in 2010, 1.150.000 crimes were registered, however, this number fell in the following years and only 770.000 crimes were registered in 2018. This rose to over 800.000 crimes in 2019, a four percent increase from the previous year.
This increase can be explained by a combination of things; namely, an overall increase in crime, changes in the registration method, a growing number of internet reports and a drastic increase in cases of fraud.
The rise of cybercrime
According to the police’s crime statistics, instances of “traditional crimes” are still declining. Police dealt with eight percent fewer home burglaries than in 2018 and pickpocketing fell by 14 percent. However, it is important to keep in mind that these figures only reflect crimes that were reported to and recorded by the police.
An extraordinary rise in cybercrime has no doubt contributed to the increase in the number of registered crimes in 2019. Over the course of the past year, there were 4.690 recorded instances of cybercrime. This is a 64 percent increase from 2018, when only 2.860 instances were recorded. However, these figures do not match the number of victims. According to the Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 1,2 million people were victims of cybercrime in 2018 but only 4,8 percent of them went to the police and, even then, only 2,8 percent of them reported a crime.
To the police, cybercrime includes any crimes that are committed or aimed at computers, smartphones, cars or any other digital system. Cybercrime includes hacking, spreading malware, viruses, hostage software as well as internet scams and DDoS attacks.
Increase in the number of young offenders
The number of underage suspects is also increasing, especially in crimes committed online. In 2016, 12 percent of all suspects were underage, last year this figure rose to 16 percent. In fact, in December 2019, minors were suspected in 29 percent of cases.
Chief of Police, Erik Akerboom, explains that young people want to make money easily and quickly. He warns of the dangers of criminals using young people to deliver packages. The police have also seen an increase in the number of young people involved in serious incidents concerning knives and other weapons. “Signs are coming from Amsterdam and Rotterdam in particular that young people are more likely to carry knives.”
“The participation of young people in criminal activities is worrying and we will keep an eye on this in the coming year,” asserted Akerboom. Akerboom wants the police, municipalities, schools and parents to come together to tackle the problem.