Drug trafficking or drug use are witnessed by a quarter of the Dutch population, according to new figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The new CBS report indicates that 24.3% of people aged 15 and older have drug use or trafficking occurring in their neighbourhoods. Just 4% of respondents said they experienced the drugs as a nuisance.

The report is based on data from the 2019 Safety Monitor, in which 135 thousand residents were asked questions about drug nuisance (among other things), in their neighbourhood.

Large cities most affected

Drug use and trafficking are most often seen in large cities. The CBS evaluated the regions with the most police activity as the baseline for the figures. This included the areas for the Netherlands’ 167 regional and local police teams.

The numbers vary greatly between regions. For example, drug use and trafficking are only seen by 14.1% of the population in the Groningen-South base team region, versus the 78.8% in Centrum-Burgwallen, Amsterdam-Noord.

Seen also in border areas

Drug trafficking and use are also reported to be above average in areas near the German and Belgian borders. Half of the residents of Kerkrade (in southeast Limburg) report the occurrence.

Heerlen and Maastricht also see high numbers, with 4 in 10 indicating drug use or trafficking in their neighbourhood.

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A nuisance in Amsterdam

In addition to reporting the highest levels of drug activity, Amsterdam reports the most nuisance. Over a quarter (27%) of Amsterdammers indicate that they are bothered by the drug use they see. This is nearly seven times higher than the 3.9% average in the Netherlands.

Of those who experienced drug activity as a nuisance, almost half (46%) also say that the quality of their neighbourhood has deteriorated in the past 12 months. The same people are also more likely to indicate other forms of nuisance, such as drunk people or young people loitering.

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Feature Image: Matthew T Rader/Unsplash

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