Youth crime may be going down in the Netherlands but there has been an increase in the number of young teenagers taking part in armed robberies, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.
In the first 10 months of this year 84 youngsters aged between 13 and 17 were arrested for armed robbery, compared with 66 last year, the paper said. Twelve of the youngsters were just 13.
Overall juvenile crime is going down but more young teenagers are committing offences and their crimes are becoming more serious, the paper said. Last weekend police in Zandaam fired warning shots while arresting two 14-year-olds who had held up a shop with what turned out to be a replica gun.
Police spokesman Jos van der Stap told the paper that the authorities are concerned about a specific group of youngsters with multiple problems. They drop out of school, have debts and difficult home situations, he said.
‘They are not rising slowly up the crime ladder, as it were, but commit violent crimes and deal in drugs at an early age,’ he said.
In 2021, 611 people were arrested for armed robbery and so far this year 482 have been picked up. Nevertheless, the police expect this year’s total arrests will exceed 2021 because most robberies are committed in the dark last two months of the year.
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