Decrease in the number of robberies

The number of robberies decreased last year by 11% when compared with 2009. This is evident from a letter to the Lower House sent by Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten. The number of robberies has thus decreased from 2898 in 2009 to 2572 last year. In order to encourage a further decrease, the previously formed Taskforce Robbery-related Crime, chaired by Mayor Aboutaleb, has drawn up an ambitious action programme with additional measures. The essence of the proposals is that the approach to robberies at the police and the Public Prosecution Service has to be guaranteed in a national ‘violent property crime’ programme. The Minister has indicated he will implement the action plan.

The taskforce was formed over a year ago to reduce the number of robberies in cooperation with the business community and the municipalities. Targeted action, deploying special teams and helicopters, an offender-based approach and the provision of more and better information to entrepreneurs have made it possible to reduce the number of robberies by 11% in one year. The approach is therefore beginning to bear fruit, but the decrease is not nearly enough, says the Minister. The number of robberies has to be brought down to a maximum of 1900 a year during this government's term in office.

In the additional proposals, there is a national Public Prosecutor for robbery-related crime, all police regions and every public prosecutor’s office will have a robbery team with fixed core members, there will be targeted traffic checks/preventive searches at hotspots and more use will be made of help from citizens by using SMS alert, Burgernet, Meld Misdaad Anoniem, YouTube and Twitter. The business community will focus more on prevention and the municipalities will more clearly take the lead at the local level. In 2014, the solving rate needs to have increased to 40% (currently 23%) and the percentage of companies that has implemented preventive measures must grow from 73% to 85%.

The letter to the Lower House and the action programme chain approach Robbery-related crime can be found at www.rijksoverheid.nl/venj.