More murders in the Netherlands this year, but fewer in Amsterdam

Police cordon at the Haaksbergen crash siteAfter years of decline, there has been a large increase in the number of murders committed in the Netherlands in 2017, according to website Moordatlas and Elsevier magazine.

Both have recorded 159 moorden so far this year, a rise of some 50 on a year ago, broadcaster NOS reported.

‘Last year we had the lowest number of murders ever,’ Elsevier crime writer Gerlof Leistra told NOS. ‘I cannot fathom why we should have such a big increase all of a sudden.’

Moordatlas compiler Eric Slot reports that 25 murders were committed this year by psychiatric patients, including the rape and murder of Anne Faber, who disappeared while on a bike ride.

A police spokesman told NOS that there has been a sharp increase in violent acts committed by disturbed individuals. Last week police chief Erik Akerboom called for better help for people who need psychiatric help.

There was a slight rise in gang-related killings, which went up from 15 to 17. In total, 15 people with an eastern European background were murdered, as were four refugees, NOS said.

In Amsterdam, however, the number of murders fell from 23 in 2016 to 15 but in Limburg, the number of violent deaths rose from two to 15. There were also more murders in Utrecht and Rotterdam.

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