The number of armed robberies in the Netherlands has fallen by 30% over the past three years, following the setting up of a special task force, Nos television reports.
The task force was set up in 2009 after the number of armed robberies reached almost 3,000 a year. This year, with two weeks to go, the total is 1,756.
The task force was equipped with improved surveillance vehicles and helicopters. In addition, more shops were fitted with alarms and cameras. Some 36% of armed robberies are now solved, compared with 24% three years ago.
Task force chairman and Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said he is pleased with the results but warns against complacency. Elderly people, supermarkets and lorries are still the target of armed robbers, he pointed out.