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Pickpocketing in the Netherlands on the rise

Pick-pocketing in the Netherlands is on the rise, recent figures from statistics Netherlands show.

Dutch police recorded 5 percent fewer criminal offences in 2012 than in 2011. Registered crime in the Netherlands has been showing a downward trend for a number of years now. However, the number of housebreaking and pickpocketing offences did rise again.

The police recorded 1.14 million criminal offences in the Netherlands in 2012, 5 percent fewer than in 2011. This was a continuation of the previous downward trend following a stabilisation in 2011. The number of larceny cases, in particular, decreased in 2012, by 22 thousand, and the number of recorded cases of vandalism fell by 15 thousand. In relative terms, the number of public order offences, including vandalism and street violence, fell by most: 16 percent. Cases involving driving under influence and leaving the scene of an accident also decreased, both by 6 thousand. On the other hand, more drug-related and fraud and forgery offences were recorded in 2012.

More burglaries and pickpocketing
The largest decrease within larceny offences was for theft from cars, which fell by 15 thousand. Burglary of and theft from businesses fell by 4 thousand, the second largest decrease. Two of the few larceny offences to increase were pickpocketing (+3.5 thousand) and housebreaking (+2.8 thousand). In 2012 the number of recorded house break-ins was 32 percent higher than in 2005, the number of pickpocketing offences 23 percent higher. In the same period, theft from cars fell by 41 percent and the number of business break-ins by 47 percent.

Most house break-ins in Gooi en Vechtstreek
Dutch police recorded 5.5 house burglaries per thousand inhabitants in 2012. In 2005 this figures was 4.3. In relative terms, most burglaries were recorded in police region Gooi en Vechtstreek in 2012: 8.6 per thousand inhabitants, Friesland had the lowest rate: 3.1 per thousand inhabitants.

The strongest relative increase in housebreaking in the period 2005-2012 was in police region Gelderland-Zuid, where it rose from 4 to 7.5 per thousand inhabitants. In relative terms the number only decreased in the regions Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Groningen and Limburg-Noord in the same period.