According to the results of an EM survey of more than 250 students, 12 percent of Rotterdam students have fallen prey to crime in the city during their student days.
Twelve percent of all students surveyed by EM reported that they had fallen victim to a crime in Rotterdam since embarking on their studies here. In three out of four cases, the crimes concerned were theft, burglary or robbery. Roland Ekkers, a spokesman for the Rotterdam Police Service, told EM that he was not too concerned about those figures. “Students are definitely not at greater risk of falling victim to a crime than other strata of Rotterdam society. We are not receiving any signals in Rotterdam that students are particularly targeted by criminals.”
'Students are no more likely to get mugged than their peers'
Ekkers continued to say, “It is a fact that student houses tend to be more easily accessible and less secure than other homes. Then again, it all depends on where you live – in a new complex such as The Student Hotel or in an old house on Beukelsdijk.” In addition, Ekkers stated that there were too many variables to distinguish students as a one single separate group. For one thing, students live in different types of houses in different types of neighbourhoods. For another, they cannot readily be identified as students when they are walking in the street. “Students are no more likely to get mugged in the street than their peers who work at Albert Heijn.”
Although the figures cannot be directly compared, there is some reason to believe that students are actually less likely to fall victim to a crime than other Rotterdammers. According to the 2015 Safety Monitor, an annual study conducted at the behest of the Ministry of Security and Justice, the municipal authorities and the police, 19 percent of Rotterdammers fell prey to a crime in 2015.
The fact that many Rotterdam students have fallen victim to criminals is no measure of the extent to which they feel unsafe. Only 2 percent of the Rotterdam students surveyed by EM indicated that they felt unsafe in Rotterdam, whereas over 86 percent of students reported that they felt safe in the city. The remaining 12 percent said they felt neither safe nor unsafe. Five percent reported that they felt unsafe on nights out, with 4 percent saying that they felt unsafe on public transport.