01 January 2024, by Abi Carter

With the cost of everyday items becoming increasingly difficult to afford, it seems that the people of the Netherlands are becoming increasingly light-fingered. According to new figures from the Dutch police, cases of shoplifting increased by more than 15 percent in 2023. 

More shops in the Netherlands report things being stolen

The number of shoplifting cases in the Netherlands spiked considerably in 2023, NL Times reports, citing an analysis of police figures done by the podcast Het Misdaadbureau. As of October 2023, there have been 37.568 cases of shoplifting in the Netherlands, up from the 32.480 recorded in the same period last year. 

There are thieves aplenty in Groningen, it seems, as this province saw the most significant rise in the Netherlands, with cases rising a massive 40 percent compared to 2022. Substantial increases were also reported in the provinces of Noord-Holland, which includes the city of Amsterdam, and Limburg, where the number of cases rose by more than 25 percent. 

Shoplifting cases had been in decline for years

Police have been recording public crime statistics like shoplifting since 2012. A police spokesperson said that there had been a general downward trend in cases of shoplifting, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, as more people did their shopping on the internet. The new figures would seem to suggest that the decline is now going into reverse. 

Speaking to Het Misdaadbureau, a police spokesperson said that it was still unclear exactly what had caused the surge in 2023. They added that they would investigate the matter together with a national working group.

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