Leiden University to establish Dutch Caribbean Homicide Monitor

LEIDEN--As part of a research project to get a better insight and overview of the number of killings in Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, the Leiden University is setting up a Dutch Caribbean Homicide Monitor.
 
The risk to get killed in the Dutch Caribbean is much higher than in the Netherlands. In Curaçao, the island with the largest number of killings, there were 28 victims of murder or manslaughter in 2017. This equals 19 victims per 100,000 residents. To compare: in that same year 0.9 victims were killed per 100,000 residents in the Netherlands.
 
According to Associate Professor Marieke Liem of Leiden University, who heads the project, so far there is little scientific interest for the high murder/manslaughter figures in the Dutch Caribbean. “However, an insight in the background and the nature of these crimes is essential for preventive policy, but also for the investigation,” she stated on the university’s website.
 
To fill this void, the Research Group Physical Violence and Public Order of Leiden University has started a research of the murder and manslaughter cases on the six islands. The   Dutch Caribbean Homicide Monitor (DCHM) is part of this research project.
 
Leiden University in the past already set up the Dutch Homicide Monitor, which it manages today. The monitor is a data set with detailed information about the characteristics of the crimes, the offenders, the victims, the criminal prosecution and a possible sentencing by the courts.
 
The Dutch Caribbean Homicide Monitor will include the similar type of information as on the Dutch Homicide Monitor about the nature of the crime, the victim, the offender and possible earlier convictions, and their sentencing. According to Liem, the results can help the islands and the Netherlands in the investigation and sentencing of murder and manslaughter suspects.  
 
The research project starts in Curaçao where later this year data will be collected, with special attention for the relation between Curaçao and the Netherlands in the area of deadly gang violence. The latter has become a problem in the Netherlands where criminals from Curaçao continue their gang wars on the other side of the ocean.
 
Naturally, data will also be collected on the other five islands. The timeframe of the data that will be collected on manslaughters and murders will cover December 31, 2010 up to December 31, 2020. The ultimate goal is the continuous monitoring of fatal crimes in the Dutch Caribbean.

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