Edition 2023

Foto omschrijving: A policeman talking to a local resident in her garden.

How does home burglary affect people?

People often feel less safe when a burglar has tried to break into or has actually been inside their home. Their trust in other people also drops. Break-ins can also lead to sleeping problems or anxiety issues. The consequences of a break-in have most impact when items have actually been taken from the home.

Burglars broke into or attempted to break into the homes of nearly 2 percent of the Dutch population (more than a quarter of a million people) in 2021. These figures are based on the survey underlying the Safety Monitor, published by CBS and the Ministry of Justice and Security. Over 173 thousand people aged 15 years or older participated in this survey in 2021.  

Over half of victims feel less safe following a break-in

In just over 1 percent of break-ins burglars had not entered the property, but had attempted to. Burglars had entered the homes of 0.2 percent but had not taken anything, and in 0.4 percent of break-ins, items had actually been stolen. It is the latter category that has the greatest effect on feelings of safety and trust, and of anxiety and depression. But even after an attempted break-in, half the victims said they felt less safe than beforehand.

How does home burglary affect people?1) (%)
Impact Burglary including theft Burglary excluding theft Attempted burglary, offender did not enter
Feeling less safe 63.2 55.8 50.5
Less trust
in other people
40.7 24.8 30.0
Sleeping problems 28.4 16.2 14.4
Anxiety issues/
panic attacks
13.4 11.6 6.1
Depressive symptoms 9.6 7.5 4.2
Re-experiencing symptoms 9.4 3.2 3.2
1)2021, multiple answers possible

Some victims experience subsequent financial problems

Burglary victims may experience financial problems when items are stolen. Seventeen percent of victims (around 10 thousand people) reported having had – of still having – financial issues as a result of a break-in.

The total value of items stolen during home break-ins amounted to over 160 million euros in 2021. Amounts vary per individual case, but can be quite large: 5 thousand euros or more in one quarter of cases. In other cases the amounts were smaller: in another quarter of break-ins burglars took goods worth 600 euros or less. Part of the loss is covered by insurance: around 70 million euros overall in 2021.

Not all break-ins are reported to the police

In cases where items were stolen, 90 percent of victims reported the break-in to the police. They are required to do this to receive compensation through insurance. Overall, just under 60 percent of victims of break-ins or attempted break-ins reported these to the police. That means over 40 percent didn’t. Victims have various reasons for not reporting. One in three said that there was no point. Others had not considered reporting it, didn’t think it was important, or thought it was too much trouble. A small number of victims said the case had been resolved, or they were afraid of revenge if they reported it to the police.

Reason for not reporting1), 2021 (%)
Reden (Attempted) home burglary Home burglary including theft
There is no point 31.0 38.1
Had not considered it/
not important
19.0 3.8
Case already resolved 11.7 2.7
Did not feel like it or had no time/
too much trouble
7.5 4.6
Not a case for the police 5.9 14.5
Afraid of repercussions 4.8 14.4
On police advice 3.5 3.5
Online reporting failed 2.2 0.4
Financial damages already paid 1.7 3.0
Feeling guilty or ashamed 1.5 13.9
Did not get around to it,
will still happen
1.3 6.9
Other 25.3 17.3
1)Multiple answers possible


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright


On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only): https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/telecommunicatie/vraag-en-antwoord/mag-een-website-ongevraagd-cookies-plaatsen

Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

CBS has offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire with altogether approximately 2,000 staff. A society-oriented working attitude is essential to CBS. CBS provides figures which are relevant to society. Every year, CBS publishes around 600 statistical studies. Virtually every day, CBS data and figures are communicated to the outside world via news releases, video messages and through social media. This results in some 50,000 articles per year in daily newspapers and on news sites.

For more information on CBS’s tasks, organisation and publications, go to cbs.nl/en-gb.


Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.


Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik, Janneke Hendriks, Richard Jollie

With thanks to Hendrik Zuidhoek


Annelie Hakkenes (final editing)

Elma Wobma (general project leader)

Erik van den Berg

Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Saskia Stavenuiter

Sidney Vergouw


Gabriëlle de Vet, Lieneke Hoeksma, Frans Dinnissen


Ronald van der Bie

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition.