Saturday 11 July 2020

Crime drops but sexual violence reports up: police figures


Total reported crime dropped 6% across the Netherlands last year, according to figures published on Friday by the Dutch police.

There were around 766,000 offences, a fifth lower than the numbers in 2014.

But although most areas of crime fell year-on-year, police noticed a 7% rise in reported sexual offences.

In a press release, the force suggested this could be related to the increased social attention and openness around sexual violence, making people more likely to alert the police to an incident. There were particular increases in reports of rape, grooming and sexting.

Robbery also increased by 4%, particularly what the police calls ‘hit and runs’. Jos van der Stap, country coordinator handling robberies, said: ‘There were relatively more robberies of supermarkets and food delivery firms, particularly in the last months of the year. These were mostly carried out by young people, doing an amateurish job.’

Invisible crime

Pickpocketing, however, fell by more than a quarter and the police cited extra surveillance as a reason.

However, the force acknowledged that reported crime does not tell the whole story. It said in a press release: ‘In recent years, there has been a clear shift to “invisible” criminality…which people do not report but which is still a social problem.’

This includes, for example, drug-related and online crime and socially ‘undermining’ businesses, for example laundering cash from the criminal underworld.

A private police report last week, seen by Trouw last week, said that the ‘real’ crime figures were five times as high as the official levels.

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