Tougher policing cuts crime in Netherlands
14 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — A new study has found that tougher and more targeted policing has cut crime rates and disorderly behaviour in the Netherlands.
14 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — A new study has found that tougher and more targeted policing has cut crime rates and disorderly behaviour in the Netherlands.
The more pro-active approach of putting more blue on the street in crime troublespots has also helped reduce fear of crime among the public, according to the study carried out by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).
The CPB conducted a citizen survey to provide data on hard-to-observe dimensions of police work for all municipalities in the Netherlands. It related variation in local policing strategies to individual data on victimisation of crime and experience of disorder and fear of crime over the period 1993-2001.
The sample included some 370,000 residents randomly selected from the Dutch population to take account of "background characteristics" and "fixed municipality characteristics".
"We find evidence that stricter law enforcement is effective in reducing disorder, fear of crime, violent crime and property crime," the CPB said. "Concentrating visible police presence at 'hot spots' is effective in combating disorder, fear of crime, and property crime. As a result of proactive policing during the period 2003-2005, crime and disorder went down substantially. Fear of crime has been reduced as well."
Police in the mid 1990s were often guided by the principle of 'gedogen', the toleration of minor infractions of the law. This changed by 2003 and crime rates have fallen by 2 to 3 percent and the nuisance for the public by 5 percent in the last two years.
The government has set itself the target of reducing crime rates by 20 percent between 2002 and 2008. The CPB said it is well on the way of achieving this.
A further reduction of 10 percent in crime figures can be realised by a 20 percent increase in the number of police on the street, according to an earlier CPB study. This would add at least EUR 630 million in annual costs.
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[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news