Crime cost Dutch society €2.5 billion last year; 700,000 bicycles stolen

AMSTERDAM - Last year, Netherlands residents fell victim to 4.2 million crimes with direct financial damage. The self-reported damage amounted to 2.5 billion euros, Statistics Netherlands reported based on its Safety Monitor 2021. Damage to cars and bicycle theft caused the most damage. Over 700,000 bicycles were stolen last year. 


Three-quarters of the crimes committed against citizens concerned the theft of money or belongings. The other quarter concerned damage or vandalism. 


Damage to cars and bicycle theft caused the most financial damage, at 444 million euros and 404 million euros respectively. Over 700,000 bikes were stolen last year. Purchase fraud also caused a lot of damage at 238 million euros. 

Fraud in online purchases was the most common crime, with 1.3 million reports. But the damage of this type of crime tends to be low - half of the victims reported damage of less than 50 euros. 28 percent of the total financial loss of 2.5 billion euros is attributable to online crimes. 


Spoofing was a popular form of payment system fraud last year. Criminals pose as a company or bank to persuade the victim to transfer money or gain access to their account. In 2021, 97,000 people fell victim to spoofing, resulting in 261 million euros in damages. That is 11 percent of the total damage caused by crimes. Three-quarters of the victims themselves transferred money to the scammer. 


According to the victims, financial service providers like banks, insurers, and credit card companies reimbursed a total of 829 million euros of damages suffered. That is just over a third of damages (34 percent). Vehicle theft and vandalism cost financial services a lot, with 235 million and 188 million euros paid to victims, respectively. A total of 212 million euros was paid to victims of online crime. 

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