Targeted approach to high-impact crimes lowers recidivism

A report by the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) reveals a notable decline in recidivism rates among perpetrators of high-impact crimes. The report, titled 'Recidivism after high-impact crimes (HIC)', was presented today by Minister of Justice and Security Grapperhaus to Rotterdam Mayor Aboutaleb, chair of the Robbery Task Force. High-impact crimes include robberies, muggings, housebreakings and violent offences. The decline in recidivism (over two years) was highest among robbers, dropping from 52.4% in 2004 to 37.6% in 2013. At the same time, the report notes that a large share of HICs, particularly muggings, are committed by juvenile offenders. Preventing delinquent behaviour among juveniles therefore remains a priority for all parties involved. Minister of Justice and Security Grapperhaus and Minister for Legal Protection Dekker today submitted the findings on recidivism among perpetrators of high-impact crimes to the Lower House of Parliament.

Minister Grapperhaus expressed satisfaction with the results. 'This monitor shows that our intensified approach to high-impact crimes is bearing fruit, and I commend the Robberies Task Force chair for his administrative commitment to this issue. Intensive measures remain necessary, however, among other things through the integral person-specific approach being used at Community Safety Partnerships.' 
Minister Dekker called the large share of juvenile offenders troubling, and expects regional initiatives will do much to curb juvenile delinquency. 'I personally witnessed how the Prevention Intervention Team in Amsterdam managed to help prevent this kind of behaviour. The municipality is taking active steps by screening kids who are at a higher risk of developmental problems and providing them with intensive guidance', he said. An increasing number of municipalities are also implementing a behavioural intervention called 'Who you are is up to you' (Alleen jij bepaalt wie je bent), which focuses on targeted guidance for youth at a heightened risk of falling into criminality.
Robberies Task Force
The Robberies Task Force has played an important part in the results achieved thus far by spotlighting the need for an integral approach to HICs. Good strides have been made in recent years by teaming up with chain partners, the business community and civil society organisations, leading to a record-low number of robberies in 2017, as well as a sharp decline in muggings and housebreakings.
The Community Safety Partnerships are closely involved through their integral person-specific approach, which relies on electronic screening for heightened surveillance of released robbers. In light of this programme's importance, the presentation of the WODC's HIC recidivism report was held at the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Community Safety Partnership.
Mayor Aboutaleb affirmed the picture painted by the WODC: 'We too have seen a continuing decline in this region in recent years. This trend has been achieved through a shared focus and commitment to the person-specific approach. It is good to see that the percentage of perpetrators of crimes with a high impact on society is declining further in our region also, and that the regional approach is proving effective.' 

In the period ahead, work to further improve the integral person-specific approach for HIC perpetrators will continue in collaboration with various regional Community Safety Partnerships, including in Rotterdam-Rijnmond. This will focus in particular on the highly problematic group of offenders responsible for ram raids, ATM gas attacks and serious violent offences, as well as on dealing with confused suspects.
The WODC's HIC recidivism monitor runs through the end of 2021. Updates are published annually.