Sunday, April 6, 2014

What's Happening?

If you're not interested in reading me grumbling about crime in our area then I would skip this post over...

What's happening?  When I first moved to The Netherlands over 10yrs ago it took me a long to get used to how safe it is was.  It was hard for me to comprehend that I could walk down the street alone at night... that I never had to consider locking the doors of the car as we drove... that the kids hanging on the corner were still harmless, just big mouths... and that if you got into a confrontation a gun wouldn't even come to mind.  But now, one of the major bonuses of living in The Netherlands is starting to change.  Sure, there was always crime in the big cities or petty crime here & there in the smaller ones.  But lately every time I open the local online news I'm reading of more and more serious crimes, ones comparable to where I came from in The States, ones that didn't used to be so abundant here in the past.  Within the past 2 months there have been at least 2 store robberies at gun point, one was even across the street from my child's elementary!  (And another in a town not so far away.)  Then this evening I open the news again, and 2 gas stations within 10 minutes of our apartment were held up at knife point, then there was a 3rd across town.  The Netherlands has so much to offer, a healthy living style, great health insurance for the children, clean streets & parks (of course all paid for by the extreme amount of tax people pay, but that's besides the point).  Crime seems to be on the rise, guns are starting to become more prevalent despite the strict laws.  And besides weapons, it seems like some of the people are changing or maybe the numbers of criminals are increasing... it seems as if they have less respect for the world around them.  I hope this isn't true.

In The States, I can barely watch the news, they often use scare tactics to get viewers or get people hooked waiting for the next update.  And it often seems like endless negative report after another.  Maybe that's what's happening here.  Maybe the crime was there all along and the media just never focused on it.  But now they are, and the scare tactics are working.  It makes me question the safety of Eindhoven, makes me wonder if it's still the right place for us.  Everywhere has its pluses and minuses, I guess I'm just surprised as to what is happening here, somewhere I didn't expect.  I try and tell myself no matter where you go in the world there is crime, just some places worse than others.  I enjoyed living with little concern about crime around us, but I guess that was naïve anyway. 

Sorry for the depressing post, and I promise I will get around to happy fun posts about our vacation to Florida.

Bye! Dag! Adios! Namaste!
:) Danica


  1. This is so true! For years we lived in Germany and everything seemed so safe. Last week one of my friends was walking home late and night and a guy assaulted her. She started screaming and he ran off with her purse. I would never walk home alone at night. It's really getting more and more dangerous. That is the SIXTH time a female friend was assaulted at night. It's just crazy.

  2. You can check the statistics on (under "Veiligheid). They have the statistics for 2009-2012. The 2013 statistics are still to be released. You can select which type of crime and also by wijk/buurt. It's rather sobering stuff: 1924 home burglaries in year! (Yes, you read right.) In 2009 this was 1.969, so it's more or less the same. "Straatroof" or street robberies (not pickpocketing) was 212 in 2012. Curiously 2012 and 2009 are much higher than 2010 and 2011.

    Reasons? My guess would be more immigrants - a lot of whom come here only to be underpaid or not even find a job (and many of them don't qualify for "uitkeringen"). This makes people desperate. Even non-immigrants are having a tough time with all the changes to the taxes and pensions and the rise in unemployment. All in all, some prime ingredients for a rise in crime.

    The above-mentioned site unfortunately does not have an option for "jeugdcriminaliteit". It would be interesting to see if there is a rise there. One of the things that I found rather appalling when teaching at a local college is the disrespect the youths (16-19 year olds) had for the peers, their elders and their environment.

    I know the mayor lamented some 3 years ago that Eindhoven is not allowed/can't afford a bigger police force: compared to the other big cities we have a much lower policeman to citizen ratio. ( ) Then, in 2010, we were the most dangerous city in the country (using 2009 statistics, I assume). Using the 2012 statistics, we were the 3rd most dangerous: