Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MPs ‘shocked’ that one in five reported crimes is never investigated

One in five crime reports made to the police end up in the bin and are never investigated, according to research by RTL news.

The broadcaster says tens of thousands of complaints are ignored, even if the impact on the victim has been serious or if a suspect has been identified.

RTL bases its claim on research carried out into 360,000 crime reports made over almost two years.

It found in 37% of cases the crime was solved, and this was particularly the case with serious crimes such murder and grievous bodily harm. In 42% of cases police start an inquiry but it remains unsolved. This is often the case with burglary and muggings.

However in 21% of cases, nothing is done. For example, only one in four reports of car theft are ever investigated. Some 35,000 burglaries were not looked into, even though justice ministry guidelines say this is a high impact crime and every case should be investigated.

Wrong conclusions

In a reaction, the police issued a statement saying that RTL had drawn the wrong conclusions from the data, which had been obtained using freedom of information legislation.

For example, the definition of burglary includes attempted break-ins as well as break-ins in sheds and outhouses and these make up the bulk of cases which are not followed up, the statement said.

Nevertheless, MPs have said they are shocked by the results and have called for a debate with ministers.

Gerrit van de Kamp of the police union ACP told RTL the police have no choice but to leave some crimes uninvestigated. ‘Politicians have wrongly stoked expectations that all crimes are investigated,’ he said.

Dutch News
June 24th, 2015

As you may know I'm an American expat living in The Netherlands. I thought the number of cases Dutch police investigate would be much lower than the figure given in this article, though, because whenever I see Dutch police they are either bunched up together in a group and chatting and laughing away or there are 2 of them searching to give people tickets for riding their bikes through busy market streets, for example. At the same time, though, I don't know how many are working undercover.

One day I was at the police station to file a complaint -- I can't remember what the complaint was about but it wasn't anything major -- and a Muslim woman in front of me told the officer at the desk that "I walked into my apartment and saw a stranger in my home. A man, I don't know him, was in my apartment and I need your help." The officer looked at her and then went to the back office where other officers were and they chatted for a few minutes. Then the officer came back and said "you have to call your lawyer because there's nothing we can do about this because it's a non-violent crime."

Breaking into someone's apartment is a non-violent crime?! I was surprised they said that. Then I started to wonder if they'd have taken her complaint more seriously had she been a regular white Dutch woman rather than a seemingly foreign Muslim.

I also often read about people being sentenced to only 6 months to a few years for murder. There's even a serial killer named Willem Holleeder who keeps going in and out of jail because of the weak justice system here regarding persons who commit violence.
Dutch career criminal Willem Holleeder
Nevertheless it's mostly a non-violent country altogether. Most of the crimes here are theft related where you never see the thief (not robbery), domestic violence, or drug cartel members shooting each other dead. There are also 1%er motorcycle gangs -- such as Satudarah -- but they mostly keep to themselves and if they are practicing extortion it's very quietly and out of public sight.

Some members of the Dutch motorcycle criminal gang Saturadah

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