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Cat and mouse game: rise in theft and nuisance at The Hague Central Station increases sharply

Businesses and train railway companies NS and ProRail complain of increased theft, nuisance, and aggression at The Hague Central Station in the past months. 

Train stations have often been centres of crime, and the bustling station of The Hague hasn’t escaped. 

The NS and ProRail recently sent a letter to the city’s municipality, signalling the “unmanageable” rise in nuisance and theft in the past few months, reports the AD

READ MORE | Public transport in the Netherlands: the complete guide

According to the station community, alcohol, food, and books are regularly stolen from the station’s stores, and troublesome behaviour has become a regular at the station. 

Shoplifting and nuisance at the station

The railway companies say that some homeless EU migrants are often shoplifting, polluting, and reacting aggressively to people in the station.

According to employees of the station’s Albert Heijn To Go, groups of Eastern European people are found stealing from the store’s alcohol aisle in the morning. 

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The picnic tables and benches, an area where the accused troublemakers were spending time, were moved to the area that is only accessible once you have checked in. 

Moving away the tables seems to have been a slight success, according to Albert Heijn To Go’s manager of the station, who says they notice a difference.

Cat and mouse game with organised theft

While moving the tables has helped to reduce the nuisance, the businesses at the station still face another problem — organised theft. 

A bookshop says that thieves come early in the morning or late at night, use earphones to communicate, all to steal…books.

One of the store’s acting managers says that their products are regularly at risk of being stolen when it’s busy, “we often focus on the more expensive stuff in the back of the store, but if we don’t pay attention, our entire top 10 of books is gone. It really is a cat-and-mouse game” 

A spokesman of the mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, said that they are aware of the issues and will revitalise discussions with ProRail, NS, and homeless organisations to see what else can be done to reduce the nuisance at the station.

What’s your experience with Dutch train stations? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.


  1. Part of this could also be due to the rise in self scan cash registers. By opting to have those instead of personnel, the rise in theft is inevitable.


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