Crime in the Netherlands - Statistics & Facts

The Dutch police force registered over 741,000 crimes in the year 2021, which is a significant decrease in comparison to the previous year and in line with the decrease of the number of crimes recorded annually. In the same vein, the incarceration rate of Dutch citizens had also been declining up until 2016, before increasing again up until 2020, when 58.5 out of every 100,000 inhabitants of the Netherlands were incarcerated. There is, however, not much trust in the police in the Netherlands, as just over half of the Dutch population said they have trust in the police force.

The Dutch drug market

The Netherlands is known to a lot of people and tourists as a country with an open mind regarding drugs, in particular soft drugs such as cannabis. However, many different drugs are illegal to use. In 2021, the Netherlands recorded over 11,500 illegal drug trades. Over 16,000 drug cases were sent to public prosecution, most of which were possession of hard drug and production of soft drugs cases. The number of drug and alcohol related nuisances have been declining, as only 131 were registered in 2021, compared to 838 in 2012.

Tragically, death is not an uncommon consequence of drug use in the Netherlands, as over 250 deaths due to drug use were registered, most of which were due to opioid use.

Discrimination in the Netherlands

Despite being seen as a tolerable country to foreigners and different cultures and ideas, the Netherlands experiences a significant amount of discrimination. In 2020, over 2,600 cases of discrimination based on ethnicity were registered in the Netherlands, and almost 2,000 based on sexual orientation. Furthermore, the number of new cases of discrimination against Muslims in the Netherlands have more than doubled in the past two years, while the number of new cases of antisemitism have remained very high in the past decade.

On top of the high number of cases of discrimination that are registered, there has also been a significant rise in the number of hate crimes that are prosecuted, with almost 410 in the most recent time period, compared to only 83 in 2013.


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