Inflow of discrimination offenses at OM in 2021 increased again

The Public Prosecutor's Office took more facts involving suspected discrimination in 2021 than in 2020. Last year there were 485 facts, 76 more than in 2020. This is shown in the report Figures in Focus 2021 from the prosecution, published today.

Figures in Focus 2021 describes the nature and extent of discrimination offenses that entered the Public Prosecutor's Office in 2021. The OM deals only with those forms of discrimination that are criminalized in the Criminal Code. This includes two types of offenses: offenses that are specifically about discrimination (specific discrimination offenses) and other offenses that involve a discrimination aspect, such as assault (also called codis offenses: commune facts with a discrimination aspect).  

In 2021, prosecutors took a total of 485 offenses in which there was a suspicion of some form of discrimination. That is 76 more than in 2020. 157 of these facts involved discrimination specifically; the remaining facts (328) were facts involving discrimination. The specific discrimination offenses mostly involved the offense of group insult (73%), while the remaining offenses often involved insulting an individual (72%). Racial discrimination was recorded most frequently in both types of acts (44% and 51%, respectively). The number of registrations of discrimination on grounds of heterosexual or homosexual orientation increased sharply compared to 2020. Furthermore, for both types, most acts were registered at the Amsterdam Public Prosecutor's Office and most discrimination took place in public spaces.

The figures in this report do not reflect how many incidents of discrimination actually occurred in the Netherlands in 2021. Not everything that can be experienced as discrimination is punishable. Moreover, not everything that is punishable ends up at the OM. Discrimination is by no means always reported. It can also happen that no suspect is found after an investigation or that there is insufficient evidence. These are some of the factors that explain why the number of offenses reported to the OM is always lower than the police registrations.  

The report Figures in Focus 2021 was prepared by the National Expert Center for Discrimination of the Public Prosecution Service. This expertise center is responsible for ensuring that discrimination cases that come to the OM are handled and dealt with carefully and properly. 

Download here Figures in Focus 2021.