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The ladybug street tile is a symbol against "senseless violence" in the Netherlands and is often placed on the sites of deadly crimes.

Senseless violence or zinloos geweld (Dutch) is a term frequently used by among others the media, politicians and NGOs to define the nature of several shocking events in Belgium and the Netherlands in recent years. The term expresses the perceived senselessness of the occurred acts of violence. As such, its use is politically charged and may not reflect any unique elements of any particular crime given that label.


Origin of the termEdit

The term "senseless violence", in the meaning used in this article, was first used in 1997 by Cees Bangma, district chief of the Dutch police unit Midden-Friesland. Before 1997 the term did not carry the same moral connotation in Belgian and Dutch culture, and typically referred to overseas warzone violence. Bangma used it in a letter written to the Leeuwarder Courant, a Frisian newspaper in which he made an appeal to the Dutch population to have a minute of silence for Meindert Tjoelker, who was killed on 13 September 1997. This minute was necessary "to make it clear to everyone that the Frisian society does not accept senseless violence". A wave of reactions followed, which also included media hype. As a consequence, much more attention was spent to every similar case of violence, which led to the perception that violence was on the increase.


The term is often criticized because it seems to say that the violence which is not categorized as senseless is legitimate. Also, it is difficult, if not impossible, to define what constitutes "senseless violence". Others point out that the term is or can be misused by politicians who strive for more repressive measures against crimes.


While there have been multiple isolated cases of fatal senseless violence in the decade since 1997, the number of deadly incidents surged since April in 2006. The following is a non-exhaustive list of deadly incidents since 1998:


Silent march of December 9, 2012 to commemorate the death of Richard Nieuwenhuizen
  • August 21, 1983: Kerwin Duinmeijer (stabbed to death in a racism related case)
  • October 22, 2002: René Steegmans (beaten to death after asking respect for an elderly lady)
  • December 2, 2012: Richard Nieuwenhuizen (fatally injured after serving as a volunteer linesman at a youth football match in Almere)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "".