SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam has again topped the annual league table of municipalities with the worst crime rates, but Limburg has the highest concentration with four of the top 10.
The number of incidents in the capital fell overall in 2018, but there was an increase in vehicle thefts, street robbery and assault, according to the 18th edition of the Misdaadmeter survey.
The Limburg communities of Sittard-Geleen and Roermond entered the top 10, joining Maastricht and Heerlen, with the latter rising from ninth place to fifth to overtake its larger neighbour.
The ranking table is compiled on the basis of police figures for the number of complaints received for 10 crimes which have a high impact on people’s perception of safety, such as domestic burglaries, street violence and thefts from vehicles.
Police spokesman Jean Fransman said attacks on takeaway delivery drivers were partly responsible for the soaring number of assaults. Last year 43 couriers were targeted, more than double the previous year’s total of 17.
Border areas such as Limburg are especially prone to vehicle theft because car thieves can easily escape to Germany, Belgium or France. Amsterdam’s neighbour Diemen shot up from 26th place to eighth after the area was targeted by a gang of Chilean criminals.
The numbers are reported to have dropped again since police rounded up the group. A police spokesman told AD: ‘We are seeing a fall in crime in many categories and we are content with that. However, there is still a lot of work to do.’(DutchNews)