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.
|Burglary including theft
|Burglary excluding theft
|Attempted burglary, offender did not enter
|Feeling less safe
in other people
|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.
|(Attempted) home burglary
|Home burglary including theft
|There is no point
|Had not considered it/
|Case already resolved
|Did not feel like it or had no time/
too much trouble
|Not a case for the police
|Afraid of repercussions
|On police advice
|Online reporting failed
|Financial damages already paid
|Feeling guilty or ashamed
|Did not get around to it,
will still happen
|1)Multiple answers possible