Trends in violent crime: a comparison between police statistics and victimization surveys

Karin Wittebrood, Marianne Junger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

36 Citations (Scopus)


Usually, two measures are used to describetrends in violent crime: police statistics andvictimization surveys. Both are available inthe Netherlands. In this contribution, we willfirst provide a description of the trends inviolent crime. It appears that both types ofstatistics reflect a different trend in thedevelopment of violence over the past twodecades. According to police statistics,violent crime has increased considerably,whilst the victimization surveys show thatviolent crime has not undergone any increase.In the second part of the paper, a number ofhypotheses are considered which could explainthe discrepancies between violence asregistered by the police and violence shown invictimization surveys. Methodological problemsinvolving both data sources are also discussed.In summary, we suggest that the increase inviolent crime as shown by police statistics isin part due to more professional registrationbased on an increased willingness to reportcrimes, and increased computerization, whichfacilitates registration. We suggest thatalthough violence may have increased, thisincrease is not likely to be as high assuggested by police statistics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-173
JournalSocial indicators research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • IR-95355


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