An average of three people a week were murdered in the Netherlands last year, but that is down 30% on ten years ago, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
There were a total of 144 murders in 2014, the lowest figure in 20 years, the CBS said. The Netherlands has a population of almost 17 million.
‘We are getting older and we have fewer people in their 20s, 30s and 40s,’ CBS researcher Jan Latten told RTL news. ‘And these are the age groups who commit the most crimes and are most likely to be victims.’
Around half the victims have an ethnic minority background – mainly Antillean and Aruban, the CBS said. They are three times as likely to be murdered as the native Dutch.
Just 31 of the victims were female – the lowest figure since 1996. Over half of them were killed by their partner or ex.
Men who are murdered are most likely to be killed by someone they know, and guns and knives are the most common weapons, the CBS said. ‘With men, the murder is usually related to property and is often gang or drugs related,’ Latten said.
Most murders – 23 – were committed in Amsterdam, which has been hit by a wave of gang-related killings in the past year.
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