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The Netherlands is a very safe country in which to live and many people never experience crime of any sort. The rate of violent crime is low although tourists are often targeted by thieves.

Visitors frequently fall prey to pickpockets, bag snatchers, and other petty thieves who target automobiles and hotel rooms. While thieves may operate anywhere, Amsterdam is a particular focal point for thefts in specific areas. Thieves and pickpockets are very active in and around train and tram stations, in the city centre, and aboard public transportation.

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Thieves often work in pairs; one distracts you, often by asking for directions, while the accomplice moves in on your momentarily unguarded property. The timing of these thefts usually coincides with train stops, enabling the thieves to escape. In addition, there have been reports of the theft of purses and briefcases while eating in downtown restaurants, including hotel breakfast rooms.

Never leave your personal items or baggage unattended when going to the restroom, buffet table, etc. Although still relatively limited, electronic theft has increased dramatically in the Netherlands in recent years. ATM and credit card users are advised to keep an eye on their cards at all times. If you feel uncomfortable using your card for any reason, use cash.

Online scams are also increasing in frequency. People are advised via email of a winning lottery ticket, an inheritance, or other offer requiring his or her assistance and cooperation. If you suspect you have been targeted by a scam based in the Netherlands, you may report it to Dutch law enforcement authorities by email at voorlichting klpd.

You are encouraged to keep up with the latest news while in the Netherlands and to take steps to increase your security awareness. Demonstrations are commonplace in the Netherlands and may range in number from a few demonstrators to several thousand. Prior police notice is required for public demonstrations, and police oversight is routinely provided. Nonetheless, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.

Therefore you are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if near one. In , crime decreased across the Netherlands by 8 percent, and even more in big cities. However, while the report revealed that some rural areas were finding it harder to reduce crime, for example burglaries, all cities with populations of more than , people managed to decrease crime rates in You can check the crime rates and types of crime for your area here in Dutch.

The Dutch authorities have made substantial efforts to reduce all types of crime and have achieved success in many areas. The police registered 1. The highest incidence were thefts from cars, bike thefts, housebreaking, shoplifting and pick-pocketing.

Compulsory identification

In national terms there were a total of , criminal cases registered with sub-district courts in , which was a reduction of In the district courts there were a total of , cases registered, which was an increase of 8. However figures have fallen substantially since , when , criminal cases were registered. The government has said it wants to reduce overall crime numbers by 25 percent.

In the area of traffic offences, which includes all minor offences, like parking and vehicle registrations, as well as speeding, the total number of settlements numbered 9. This represents a pattern of reduction since , when the figure stood at In regional terms Amsterdam is one of the more dangerous cities to live in, although it is relative to a low overall crime rate.

The city had 5, registered cases of burglary and theft from houses and also a higher level of car and violent crimes than any other Dutch city. Suffering from the second highest incidence of burglary and theft was Rotterdam with just over 4, cases and The Hague was third highest with around 3, cases. Following serious efforts to reduce crime, safety in Eindhoven has improved greatly and the city has gone from being the most dangerous cities in the Netherlands to live in two years ago to being sixth.

Bicycle theft has traditionally been a thorn in the side of the Dutch authorities with approximately , bicycles being stolen every year. The high number is a reflection of the significant rate of bike ownership in the country — approximately 18 million. However, in an effort to tackle bike crime, the authorities have made serious efforts to tackle bicycle theft including registering every new bike in a bicycle registry and making it possible to install a chip on each machine.

If you fail to pay, the public prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute you. You can be prosecuted within two years of the date of the offence. Compulsory identification Police officers and other officials such as ticket inspectors and labour inspectors may ask to see proof of identity. Contact the Public Information Service.