30 August 2023, by Emily Proctor

For the first time since 2008, Rotterdam has overtaken Amsterdam as the Dutch city with the most murders, according to new statistics released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Of the 142 murders that occurred in the Netherlands in 2022, 16 took place in Rotterdam, with Amsterdam following behind with 10 and The Hague with three. 

More women killed in the Netherlands in 2022

The number of female murder victims across the whole of the Netherlands in 2022 was 48, 10 more than in the previous year. Between 2018 and 2022, the main suspect involved in 60 percent of women’s murders was their own partner or ex-partner, with a further one in five women being killed by another family member. Female victims in the Netherlands were often killed in their own homes by stabbing or strangulation.

By contrast, the number of men killed in the Netherlands rose by six cases, to 94, and male victims only knew the perpetrator in 33 percent of cases. 12 percent of male murder cases involved organised crime, and three-quarters of all male victims were killed by shooting or stabbing.

Other statistics from CBS also show the number of children murdered in the Netherlands; in the period from 2018 to 2022, 32 children under the age of 10 were murdered. The total number consists of 17 boys and 15 girls, with 88 percent of child murder victims having been killed by one of their parents. During the same period, 41 children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 20 were also murdered.

Dutch murder rate remains lower than many other countries

In 2022, the Netherlands had 142 murders, totalling 0,65 victims per 100.000 inhabitants. By comparison, the country with the highest murder rate is Jamaica, where the rate is 53 victims per 100.000 inhabitants. 

In Europe, many countries in the East of the continent have the highest murder rates, including Russia (6,8 victims per 100.000 inhabitants), Ukraine (3,84 victims per 100.000 inhabitants) and Latvia (3,04 murders per 100.000 inhabitants). The United States’ murder rate is also 10 times higher than in the Netherlands.

Overall, the Dutch murder rate has fallen in the past 20 years, with figures from 2003 showing that the total number of victims was 247 – 105 murders more than in 2022. Despite this drop, the number of murders in the Netherlands has been steadily rising again since 2016.

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