Incidents involving hand grenades are rising dramatically in the Netherlands, according to reports.
University researchers have determined that more hand grenade-related crimes have occurred in the past 18 months than the previous 10 years combined, with Amsterdam being a hotbed for such events.
“In the past 11 years there were a total of 117 incidents with illegal hand grenades in the Netherlands, according to the researchers,” NL Times reports. “More than half of them happened in 2018 and the first months of 2019.”
“In 21 of the cases, a person was threatened or attacked with a grenade. Nine people were injured, some of them seriously. So far, no one has been killed. Suspects were arrested in only 20 percent of cases.”
A lack of casualties is luck that is bound to run out, if trends in neighboring Sweden are any indicator, asserts criminologist Marieke Liem.
"For example, we also see a huge increase in hand grenade violence in Sweden, and there were deaths there, including bystanders," Liem says. "If the trend continues, you could expect that there will also be fatal casualties here."
Interestingly, the researchers reportedly note that police data recorded and reported about hand grenade crimes "leaves something to be desired. Little is known about motives."
"There are suspicions that hand grenades are regularly used as a means of extortion or intimidation. Two-thirds of the grenade incidents targeted a business. Many businesses were closed by their municipality after grenades were found tied to their door or left on the street in front of them, sometimes resulting in bankruptcy."
Nearly one-third of all grenade incidents took place in Amsterdam, prompting officials to implement additional security measures to tackle the issue, including installing more security cameras and deploying more patrols.
Hand grenades are apparently easy to acquire on the black market in the Netherlands and can be obtained for as little as 5 to 20 euros.
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