Justice ministry to investigate refugee crime rate
The justice ministry is launching an investigation into the impact of asylum seekers centres on local crime rates in an effort to base discussions on ‘facts not emotions’, according to Dutch media reports on Thursday.
People who oppose plans to locate a refugee centre in their community are often concerned about the impact on crime and public safety, even though previous surveys have indicated there is no connection.
The research involves linking refugees’ BSN registration numbers with the police data bank to find out how many have been implicated in crime, broadcaster Nos says. This will also be cross-checked against data on local crime rates compiled by the national statistics office CBS.
Research by Nos last year showed no rise in crime in areas where large refugee centres have been located.
Earlier research in 2006 showed asylum seekers were more likely to be involved in crime than the native Dutch but less so than Dutch nationals with an ethnic minority background. Most of the crimes took place within the confines of the refugee centre.
In January it emerged that the police have set up a special programme in an effort to keep criminals away from refugee centres where they are trying to recruit people to become prostitutes or get involved in the drugs trade.
There are currently 47 ongoing investigations into human trafficking around refugee centres, the Volkskrant says. In total, 100 police officers have been allocated to the programme.