Dutch police visit child porn watchers at home

Police officers on the street
Police officers on the street. Photo: Politie

If child pornography is found on your computer in the Netherlands, you can expect a police officer showing up at your door to personally deliver a warning letter and to discuss the possible consequences with you, the Gelderlander reports. 

This method was introduced in early 2015. So far officers from the Combating Child Pornography and Child Sex Tourism Team visited about 400 people at home.

The approach is used in less serious cases, such as when people have relatively little child pornography in their possession or when it involves footage the judiciary already knows about and was not created by the person in question. The letter, signed by the Public Prosecutor, contains a description about what law is being violated, a warning and a notification that the person will be registered in the police system. 

The warning letters and discussions are meant to have a preventative effect. And the police consider the approach a success, according to the newspaper. "It is confrontational, people are frightened by a cop showing up at the door to talk about the subject. They feel caught, because with the visit we remove the anonymity." Edwin Dieperink, director of the Combating Child Porn Team at the Oost-Nederland police, said to the newspaper. 

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