Burglary fear up in the Netherlands

Burglary fear up in the Netherlands

According to Statistics Netherlands, more than one in ten people in the Netherlands think the risk of having their homes broken into is (very) high. The share has risen in recent years, in particular among over-65s and people living in rural areas. Yet, these groups are the least afraid of burglary. The increase is remarkable, because the amount of victims of (attempted) burglary has barely risen.

Last year, about 12 percent in the Dutch population aged 15 years or older (approximately 1.7 million people) estimated that the risk of home burglary was (very) high, although nearly half of residents think the risk is (very) small; the remainder are neutral or indicate they do not know. Residents living in rural areas and over-65s are the least afraid of having their homes broken into.

Sharp increase estimated risk of burglary
The percentage of residents who estimate that the risk of having their homes broken into is (very) high has increased substantially from 8.4 to 12.1 percent over the period 2008-2013. The increase is remarkable, because the number of victims of (attempted) home burglary has in fact not risen. With 3.1 percent, the proportion was only just above the level recorded in 2008. The number of burglaries reported to the police also remained fairly stable and even declined in 2013. Possibly, growing media attention for crime in general has instilled more fear in people of having their homes broken into. Burglary prevention campaigns are set up and local media also tend to pay more attention to home burglaries.

Growing fear among over-65s and residents living in rural areas
Since 2008, the estimated risk of home burglary has risen most rapidly among over-65s and people living in rural areas. Among residents living in ‘hardly urbanised regions’, the share of people who think the risk is (very) high doubled from 5 to 10 percent. This is not consistent with the increase of the actual share of home burglary victims in this period.

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