Netherlands: Mapping out Moroccan crime

Netherlands: Mapping out Moroccan crime

Moroccan criminal youth are increasingly organizing in gangs which operate regionally and even internationally.

This according to the Dutch National Police (KLPD) in a study on Moroccan criminals in the Netherlands, which had not been made public until now. In total, 14,462 Moroccan criminals were included in the study, in the 181 municipalities with five or more Moroccan criminals. They make up 8.1% of the 177,487 known criminals in these places. The number of ethnic Dutch criminals is 101,437, or 57.1% of the total. Formally, the study is only about suspects: people on whom the public prosecution received a file and for which the police is 'convinced that they've committed a certain crime'.

In absolute number, Amsterdam has the most Moroccan criminals: 2,497 of a total of 14,844 arrested criminals. Taking into consideration the total population, the KLPD made up a classification of the 'gravity of the Moroccan problem'. Amsterdam is in first place, Gouda second and Utrecht third. Culemborg is in 14th place, Zaltbommel in 35th. Taking into account recidivism (the average number of crimes per Moroccan suspect aged 12 to 24), Gouda has the largest Moroccan problem nationally: the 332 suspects in Gouda commit on average 1.4 crimes a year. Using this classification, Utrecht is runner-up, the Hague is 3rd and Culemborg is in 10th place.

The 'relative Moroccan activity' was also mapped out: the percentage of criminal Moroccan of the total population aged 12 and up. Gouda leads here with 0.55% (332 criminal Moroccans out of 59,931 residents 12 and up). Utrecht is 2nd, Amsterdam is 3rd. Based on the KLPD data it's possible to calculate the percentage of Moroccans among the total arrested criminals. Once again Gouda leads with 31%: almost a third of all those arrested is Moroccan. Utrecht is second with 23.7% and Culemborg third with 22.6%.

Moroccan Problematics
Left - number of Moroccan criminals (top 20)
Center- number of ethnic Dutch criminals (same 20 municipalities)
Right - total number of criminals (same 20 municipalities)

Top 20 municipalities
Left - % of Moroccan criminals of total population
Right - % of Moroccan criminals of total criminals

The KLPD report "analysis of Moroccan criminal populations of municipalities in the Netherlands" was drafted in early 2009 on the basis of data from 2007. It is used as a distribution key for funds set up to deal with troubles. Also, based on this data 22 municipalities were chosen to participate in the so-called Moroccan agreement which was signed in October. The KLPD researchers say various nuances are possible in these lists.

In addition to the level of recidivism, the organization level of criminal Moroccans could also be included. "The police is noticing namely an increasing level of criminal cooperation in this population group, which is not only active across regions, but also across land-borders," according to the report.

The investigation effort could also distort the picture. More arrests of Moroccan in a region can also point to better investigation. Additionally, the over-representation of Moroccans in a region could come out lower if the ethnic population is more criminal than the average.

Ethnic registration is a sensitive issue in the Netherlands. On a local level the police doesn't do it. The 'Moroccan list' was compiled from the investigative data of the regional police corps and joined on a national level with the data from Statistics Netherlands. The service has access to information from the GBA (Municipal basis administration). The police in Utrecht, for example, reported to the KLPD that a youth born in Netherlands with a Dutch passport was arrested. The KLPD could see in the GBA data that the youth's parents were born in Morocco, and thereby the youth appeared in the statistics as '2nd generation Moroccan'. The final file is completely anonymized, meant for scientific research.

The Moroccan lists, compiled by request of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, are not used one on one for distributing the money or for joining the agreement. Frank Wassenaar, ministry spokesperson: "150 million euro is available for 2010 and 2011 for dealing with troubles and deterioration in 40 municipality.

That pool is the continuation of the so called 'Van Montfrans-monies' and the 'quality of life means'. Among the 36 municipalities which were considered for those means, Gouda did not appear for example, while there are problems there." The four highest listed municipalities on the KLPD lists which did not yet appear on the list of 36, were added to list of 40 municipalities. In addtion to Gouda, this includes Culemborg, Veenendaal and Zeist.

The agreement of 22 Moroccan municipalities was composed in a different way. They were chosen based on three criteria: the highest number of Moroccan residents, the most Moroccan suspects, and the 'administrative will to do something about the problem,' according Maarten de Keulenaar, official coordinator of the collaborative effort. Municipalities cold ask to join based on the announced cabinet plans from last year regarding Moroccan youth, in addition several municipalities were asked to join.

Wim Cornelis, mayor of Gouda, appeared surprised by the KLP findings. "We knew we had similar problems to the G30, but that we are even number one in this area is hard to swallow. This confirms the need for a specific policy aimed at this group, on multiple fronts and over multiple years, by for example intervening behind the front door [ie, inside the home]."

Source: Binnenlands Bestuur (Dutch)

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