The Netherlands sees significant decrease in the number of robberies

The Netherlands sees significant decrease in the number of robberies

The Netherlands saw a significant decrease in the number of robberies this year compared to 2012: 17% in the first eleven months of this year. There was also a significant decrease in the number of muggings in 2013: 15% in the first 9 months of this year. Reducing the number of robberies and muggings is a top priority of Minister Opstelten (Security and Justice).

This is evidenced by the robbery figures for the first eleven months of 2013. In 2009, the ministry initiated its Dealing with Robberies [Aanpak Overvallen] programme, and the number of robberies has decreased every year since: from nearly 3000 in the first year until approximately 1700 in 2013. Since the start of the ‘dealing with muggings’ programme in early 2012, the number of muggings has also strongly decreased: from approximately 8700 to about 7000 in 2013.

This year saw a particularly strong decrease in petrol station and supermarket robberies. There was only a slight increase in the number of lorry robberies. Minister Opstelten will engage in talks with the Dutch Transport Operators Association [Transport en Logistiek Nederland] to assess the measures that can be taken in order to reduce this number.

For a number of years, the police, judicial authorities, municipal authorities and sector organisations have closely cooperated via the national Robbery Task Force [Taskforce Overvallen] in order to put a stop to the number of robberies. The deployment of special anti-robbery teams and helicopters and an offender-focused approach have reduced the number of robberies. In dealing with robberies, the police and judicial authorities opt for a strong offender-focused approach. For instance, there is a focus on potential offenders and there is stronger supervision of robbers who are released early. This has resulted in a significant increase in the chances of arresting robbers or muggers, in heavier sentences for robbers and muggers and in robbers being placed under intensive supervision also after their detention.

Businesses are also supported in taking specific measures to reduce the chance of robberies. For this purpose, they are continuously provided with information and can make use of the Small Business Security approach [aanpak Veiligheid Kleine Bedrijven] in order to take preventative measures. Moreover, citizens are asked to help, for example through public campaigns to stimulate electronic payments.

Source: Dutch government

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