Number of break-ins in the Netherlands reach pre-coronavirus levels

Number of break-ins in the Netherlands reach pre-coronavirus levels

After a dip during the coronavirus lockdown, the number of break-ins across the Netherlands has risen to pre-lockdown levels according to new figures from the Dutch police

Burglaries in the Netherlands

During the coronavirus lockdown between the months of March and June, 6.951 burglaries were carried out. This is 37 percent less than the 11.041 that were carried out March to June of 2019. The lowest number recorded was in the week from April 23 to May 3, when there was 294 break-ins, a whopping 60 percent drop from the 731 recorded in the same week last year.

The drop in spring of 2020 is due to the increase in time spent at home during the lockdown.  More people in the Netherlands started to work at home from March, and people didn’t go out as much or go away on holiday. 

However, since the Dutch government started to ease lockdown restrictions, police have seen a rise in the number of break-ins. According to the police, 510 burglaries were carried out last week, which is ‘only’ 60 less than were carried out in the same period last year. 

Sybren van der Velden, project leader of national coordination team Home Burglary & Heling, is not surprised by the increase: “Because of the easing, more Dutch people go to work and it gets busier on the road. Burglars see their chances increase quickly. They want to get in and out quickly. So when people are at home, they stay away.”

Summer break-ins

The police expect numbers to continue to rise as people leave their homes behind to go on holiday this summer. They expect the number of break-ins reported will rise to almost normal levels during July and August. With borders reopening, the police also expect an increase in the number of mobile gangs travelling from Eastern Europe and South America to carry out burglaries here in Dutch cities

Police advise on how to leave your home when going on holiday is as follows: close the windows, even on higher floors, and leave a light on. Also avoid leaving your home too neat, as burglars will pay attention to that. 

More insurance claims

Insurance companies have also reported seeing an increase in the number of claims for insurance. Steffie van der Velde from insurance company Allianz says that more members of the public have contacted the company’s customer service with questions about burglaries, and that this increase is a strong indication that the Netherlands has started up again following the lockdown

Allianz says burglars are becoming more and more inventive in selecting targets and finding ways to ensure home-owners are away. Van der Velde says they put twigs between the door frame, or a piece of paper on your tyre, and will check it after a few days to see if they are still there.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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Leave a comment

AntonioPerrone2 15:53 | 16 July 2020

Can you provide more information about those 'mobile gangs travelling from Eastern Europe and South America to carry out burglaries here in Dutch cities'.

VictoriaSeveno2 16:08 | 16 July 2020

Hi Antonio. There is some information about these mobile gangs on the police website, and also on the Prosecution Service website, however the information is in Dutch: It seems that most of these groups travel from Eastern Europe and stay in the Netherlands without (legal) residence for short periods of time. Please let me know if this information helps, or if you have any more questions.