A comparison of the criminal offences committed in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands

Literature review

Criminality is a huge problem in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands. Both governments are trying to reduce the high numbers of the different crimes. Because you don’t hear, read or see all the criminal offences but just the biggest and extremist ones, made me too want to know more about this topic
This research is about the most common kinds of criminality, the numbers in both countries and the risk of recidivism. I have tried to find the numbers and statistics about criminal offences under the influence of drugs like alcohol but it is hard to find a correct and trustable source for the numbers of the Netherlands. I have searched on the websites Rijksoverheid.nl, cbs.nl, trimbos.nl for information and statistics of The Netherlands but could not find anything about criminal offences under the influence of drugs/alcohol. It was much easier to find the information about the United Kingdom I needed because they have more researches and accurate statistics about this topic on http://www.IAS.org.uk, http://www.gov.uk and http://www.ncadd.org.

What are the most common criminal offences committed by youth in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands?

The numbers of criminality are very high in the United Kingdom as well in the Netherlands. There are many different kinds of criminality but the most important and most common are, violent crimes, homicides, robberies and domestic burglaries. The numbers and statistics I found to use for this research are from England and Wales.
Crimes recorded by police in the Netherlands had an decrease since 2003 from 1.369.271 million to 1.139.720 million in 2012. (Eurostat, 2015) The numbers are much higher in the United Kingdom because of the population, never less these numbers of crimes recorded by the police had a fall also from 6.013.759 million to 3.731.338 million. (Eurostat, 2015) These numbers include all crimes recorded by police but in this research only the four most common will be discussed. To compare the numbers, the population of both countries has to be equal. The population in the Netherlands in 2012 was 16,7 million and in the United Kingdom 63,7 million. If the number of crimes and the population would be compared in both countries the percentage in the Netherlands would be 6,8% and in the United Kingdom 6,0%. This means there is more criminality in the Netherlands than in the United Kingdom.

The four most common crimes.
(I have made this figure myself because the figure of the website was too big to fit on one page therefore I have add that figure as an appendix)
Homicide Violent crime Robbery Domestic Burglary Total
United Kingdom 572 753.081 66.170 233.225 1.053.048
The Netherlands 145 123.410 14.750 112.105 250.410
Figure 1. Numbers of the four most common crimes in the UK and The Netherlands in 2012. (Eurostat, 2015)

These crimes are recorded by police in 2012, it is clear that violent crime is the most committed and recorded crime in both countries. But these numbers of committed crimes includes adults to.

Crimes committed by youth.
In 2012 there were 175.000 arrests of young people, (people between the age of 10 and 17). for criminal offenses in the United Kingdom. (GOV.UK, 2014) This is a decrease in arrests towards 2002 because in this year there were 320.000 arrests on young people.
In the Netherlands 58.500 young people were suspects for committed criminal offences. (CBS.nl, 2014) With a total of 1.053.048 committed criminal offences in the United Kingdom and 175.000 arrested young people this means that 16,6% from the criminal offences is committed by youth and for the Netherlands this percentage is 23,3%.
This means there is 6,7% more criminality in the Netherlands as regards the youth and it is not only the youth who commits more offences but in view of the whole population there are 0,8% more criminal offences as in the United Kingdom.

How many offences are committed under the influence of alcohol?

Alcohol use and misuse is a huge problem for both countries, a lot of people think that drinking alcohol is not a problem because everyone does it and because its available everywhere. But instead, alcohol is a dangerous drug and besides the health risks the use of it is also related to many criminal offences. When people go out in the weekend they drink a lot and therefore the use of it and violent crimes are connected which each other.
Violent crimes include crimes where intentional harm is inflicted against another individual during the commission of the crime. Additionally, violent crimes can include the threat of intentional harm. (study.com, 2015)
So as you can imagine drunk peoples behaviors are bad during the weekend. They fight or do other criminal things and therefore a fifth of these offences are committed in a location with bars and pubs as figure 2 shows.

Figure 2. Proportion of violent incidents where alcohol was likely to be a factor, by question, 2013/14 Crime Survey England and Wales CSEW. (gov.uk, 2015)

The CSEW (Crime Survey England and Wales ) estimates that in 2013 there were 1.3 million incidents of violence against adults in England and Wales. Victims perceived the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol in 53% of these, equivalent to an estimated 704,000 violent incidents. Victim reported that they (the victim) were under the influence of alcohol in a fifth (20%) of violent incidents, and that 19% of violent incidents were located in or around a pub (gov.uk, 2015)
To give you more information about the trend during the years 2004/2005 till 2013/2014 I have found this figure that shows the proportion of violent incidents where the victim believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol. You see that the percentage is quite steady during these years.

Figure 3. Proportion of violent incidents where the victim believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol, 2004/05 to 2013/14 CSEW. (gov.uk, 2015)

Unfortunately there are no recent numbers about criminal offences committed under the influence of alcohol in the Netherlands. There are only numbers and facts available as regards to the use of alcohol.

What is the percentage of recidivism by youth in both countries?

Recidivism refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime. Recidivism is measured by criminal acts that resulted in re-arrest, reconviction or return to prison. (nij.gov, 2015)
Besides this the aftercare is also an important aspect. The government of the United Kingdom made up a report which describes proven re-offending statistics. Proven re-offending means when a person commits the same offence or any other offence in the first year after being in custody or noncustodial conviction at court and again receives a court conviction or a noncustodial conviction (GOV.UK, 2011/2012). So it is about offenders who re-offended and which are proven re-offences. The following information is about the re-offences committed by youth in the United Kingdom.
Between July 2010 and June 2011 there were 83.000 offenders under the youth . These had a warning, were convicted or just released from custody. From the 83.000 offenders 30.000 committed a crime again. Mostly a re-offence. This means that in the United Kingdom 36% of the offenders commits a proven re-offence in the year after they were cautioned, convicted or released from custody (GOV.UK, 2011/2012).
In the Netherlands according to the Government 50% of the people who are just been released from custody commits a criminal offence. The government takes measures to lower the number of recidivism. This percentage decreased over the last few years. From the youth 35% commits a re-offence in two years after being in custody (Rijksoverheid, 2014).
The percentages in both countries are about the same. (UK 36% / NL 35%) This means that the risk of recidivism is about the same in both countries.

Summary of the questionnaire

While my stay in London I had to do an interview but it was hard to find 1 person who had the time for this and therefore I asked 20 students on the street what they thought about the questions and what their answers would be. They gave me short answers because it was about their opinion. I will add the interview / questionnaire as an appendix to this research.
The first question was in which country the thought there would be more criminality (under the influence of drugs), The Netherlands or the United Kingdom. 11 students out of 20 answered the United Kingdom because of the high alcohol use but the answer was wrong. It is The Netherlands. Some students answered the Netherlands because of the soft drug regulation but I could not check this with trustable information and correct numbers. I only found out that there is more criminality in The Netherlands.
The second question was what the most common criminal offense is. 14 students answered violent crime what the correct answer is and 6 students thought robbery. I never thought violent crime was the most common so I checked it on the internet and this kind of crime includes many crimes such as sexual assault, rape, extortion and harassment etc.
The third question was what the number is of criminal offences recorded by the police in the UK.12 students answered between the 3.000 000 and 4.000 000 crimes what is correct, 3 students thought that it would be less and 5 thought it would be more.
The fourth question was if they thought the government of the UK does enough to prevent criminality. 18 students answered no because of the high numbers. And 2 answered that people have to start by themselves.
The fifth question was how the government prevents criminality from increasing? 20 out of 20 students answered with different programs for criminals and addicts and of course jail time. But they did not had answers how to improve this prevention except more and longer jail time.
The sixth question was if they thought the people who committed a criminal offence under the influence of drugs get the punishments they deserve. 9 students had no as answer because they did not know what kind of punishment these people get, 5 students answered that those people need treatment and 6 students answered that the punishments have to be higher.
The seventh question was if they thought addicts who committed criminal offences repeatedly get a good treatment. 18 students answered no because if these people get good treatment they would not do these things again. 2 people answered that those addicts are in a spiral and will never get better.

The eight question was if they thought these people are criminals or patients. 17 students answered criminals because they think that all addicts (drug users) are criminals and 3 students answered patients because they think those people are sick and do those thing to get there medicine.
The ninth question was if they thought a lot of the patients fallback to their criminal offences. 17 student thought that a lot of the patients / criminals will fallback because the situation and how they live will not change. 3 students hoped that people get the treatment they need and the aftercare to prevent this but they were not sure about this.
The last question was if they had some success or failure stories about criminals, offenders or addicts but they had not or would not want to talk about it. If a stranger would ask me and my family has some stories I would not share them.

Results

In this research the criminality in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands is compared. The main question which I answered with my research was about the most common criminal offences committed by youth in both countries. According to my research and the information I have found, violent crime, robbery, domestic burglary and homicide where the most common criminal offences. The most common of these four crimes committed by youth was violent crime.
This research showed me that The Netherlands has more criminality by youth and adults then the United Kingdom.
The use of alcohol and drugs are related to many crimes. About 53% of the violent crimes in the United Kingdom are committed under the influence of alcohol. Despite of my research on the internet I could not find any reports and statistics as regards criminal offences committed under the influence of alcohol for The Netherlands.
The Government in both countries are doing it the same way to reduce and prevent criminality by youth. They have different programs for criminals and addicts and they make sure the person gets aftercare to reduce the risk of recidivism..
The risk of recidivism is about the same in both countries namely 35% in the Netherlands and 36% in the United Kingdom. These percentages are committed re-offences by youth.

Conclusion.

I have chosen to compare criminality in the United Kingdom with the Netherlands because it connects with my major study, specially the law part of my major. I am very interested in criminal law and therefore this research was very interesting to do. This research made it clear for me that the number of criminal offenses committed by youth and by adults both in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands had a decrease in the last years.
To compare these countries I had to do some math because the United Kingdom has a bigger population. The numbers made it clear that The Netherlands has more criminality by youth and adults.
I have learned that violent crime is the most committed crime. I have chosen for the drugs / alcohol part because I knew a lot of crimes are committed under the influence and this research confirmed my opinion. The hard part was to find statistics of The Netherlands about alcohol/drug related crimes and therefore those numbers are not include in this research because I could not find anything
I believe that this research about criminality was educational for me because I did not know anything about criminal law or the statistic and sometimes it was hard to find the information I was searching for as I told my teacher especially for The Netherlands.

List of sources

‘ ”Eurostat.” (2015). Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat.
‘ ”ONS.GOV.UK.” (2015). Retrieved from http://www.ons.gov.uk.
‘ ”NIJ.GOV.ASPX ”(2015) Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov.aspx
‘ ”GOV.UK ” (2015) Retrieved from http://www.gov.uk.
‘ ”Centraal Bureau van Statistieken.” (2015). Retrieved from http://www.cbs.nl.
‘ ”Rijksoverheid.” (2015). Retrieved from http://www.rijksoverheid.nl.
‘ ”Institute of Alcohol Studies.” (2012). Retrieved from http://www.IAS.org.uk.
‘ ”National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.” (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ncadd.org.

Hyperlinks.
http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=crim_gen&lang=en
http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/278549/youth-justice-stats-2013.pdf
http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-are-violent-crimes-definition-types-examples.html
http://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/recidivism/pages/welcome.aspx
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-violent-crime-and-sexual-offences–2013-14/rpt-chapter-5.html?format=print
http://www.cbs.nl/NR/rdonlyres/6800D7E9-2552-431F-825B-2A6024A71A47/0/2014monitorjeugdcriminaliteit.pdf
http://ncadd.org/for-youth/drugs-and-crime/230-alcohol-drugs-and-crime
http://www.ias.org.uk/uploads/pdf/Crime%20and%20social%20impacts%20docs/Crime%20and%20social%20impacts%20factsheet%20May%202013.pdf
http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192631/proven-reoffending-jul-10-jun-11.pdf
http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/recidive

Appendices. (interview document)

Hello Sir, Madam, my name is Jeffrey de Vries and I am a student from the Netherlands. Currently I am studying Business Administration, Management, Economics and Law at the Fontys Hogeschool in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. I have to write a report about the comparison between The Netherlands and the United Kingdom of criminal offences committed under the influence of drugs, therefore I have some questions for you:

1. In which country do you think there would be more criminality under the influence of drugs?
The Netherlands or the United Kingdom?
And what is your motivation for this?
2. What do you think is the most common criminal offence committed under the influence of drugs? And also what is the reason for this?

3. What is the number of criminal offences committed under the influence of drugs recorded by the police?

4. Do you think the government in the United Kingdom does enough to prevent criminality? Can you give me one argument or more for your answer?

5. How is the government preventing criminality from increasing?

What do you think they can improve to prevent more criminality?

6. Do you think the people who committed a criminal offence under the influence of drugs get the punishments they deserve?

7. Do you think addicts who committed criminal offences repeatedly get a good treatment?

8. Do you think these people are criminals or patients? Can you explain your answer?

9. Do a lot of the patients fallback to their criminal offences?

10. Do you have any success or failure stories?

Thank you so much for taking the time and the effort for answering my questions.

Appendices (information for figure 1)

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