Winters Have Become The Most Unsafe Times, But Why?

On Friday, August 31st a stabbing attack occurred at Amsterdam Central Station. Two people were reportedly injured and police forces shot the assailant and took the two victims and the suspect to the hospital. How unsafe has The Netherlands become? Are some months more dangerous than others?

Safety is vital to our well-being. We all want to feel safe in our home or work and would like to live in crimeless neighbourhoods or cities. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as some parts of our surroundings have a higher crime rate than others and some months are more dangerous than others.

The following data comes from private and public source. The safety score index is built up from a mix of burglaries, CBS data and nuisance reports and it ranges from 0 to 10. The data is collected since January 2018 and does not inform us about the long-run movement of the safety score.

Figure 1: Average safety score in the Netherlands since January 2018 until September 20181 b

It is startling to see in Figure 1 that the average safety score is higher in the summer than it is in the winter. This might be explained  from different viewpoints. First, as seen from our report, the Dutch fly much more during summer as they take their holidays around July and August. That means that a big majority of residents are away from home and report less noise complaints from tourists which puts the index up by  0.25 basis points.

Secondly, in the summer noisy activities happen mostly outside which in turn leaves less room for the Dutch to complain about their neighbors or the student parties.

Another interesting viewpoint over this data is to see how this score change for the big cities since January. If in the summer, the country becomes safer, is this true for all the provinces and regions? Shouldn’t Amsterdam become more risky during the tourist season?

Figure 2: Safety score movement since January 2018image (28)

Compared to the average score, all large cities score lower in safety. As the Economist put it: In many respects it’s the very success of cities, in their role as global social and economic hubs, that makes them more vulnerable.

Haarlem’s safety score increases as weather gets better. Den Haag becomes safer during the summer months and the score drops back to the normal levels in September. The bigger cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam get more dangerous with the good weather as more tourists visit. Utrecht loses some safety points during summer and has fewer fluctuations

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