Youth crime decreases in the Netherlands

Youth crime decreases in the Netherlands

According to the police, 262 thousand persons were once or more than once suspected of criminal activities in 2011, a decline by 20 percent relative to 2007. The crime rate fell noticeably among native Dutch and young people according to Statistics Netherlands.

Proportionally, most suspects registered by the police are under the age of 25, but the gap between this age group and older age groups has narrowed in recent years. The most substantial decline since 2007 (by 36 percent) is observed in the 12-18 age bracket. In 2011, 27 in every thousand people in this age group were registered by the police as crime suspects versus 43 in every thousand in 2007. Nevertheless, with 38 in every thousand, the rate is still highest among 18 to 25-year-olds, although 20 percent down from the 2007 level. In the other age categories, the decline was less obvious. Total registered crime dropped by 8 percent over the same period.

The share of young crime suspects has fallen across all ethnic groups during the past decade, but the decline was not evenly spread across all these groups. With 41 percent, the most substantial reduction relative to 2007 was registered among 12 to 18-year-old native Dutch, followed by 12 to 18-year-olds with a western background. The smallest reduction was registered in the category of young people with a Moroccan background (23 percent). The number of Antillean young crime suspects dropped by one quarter in 2011 compared to 2007. Differences in, for example, education level, income level and housing conditions can only partially account for the higher proportion of crime suspects among young people with a non-western background.

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