Lack of psych treatment for criminals condemned: MPs

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Jeroen Recourt (Photo: Partij van de Arbeid/Wikimedia Commons). (Jeroen Recourt (Photo: Partij van de Arbeid/Wikimedia Commons))

The PvdA and SGP want to know exactly how many people are walking around freely after being convicted and require psychiatric treatment. This could happen, for example, if a person appealed against a ruling.

That was the case with Bart van U., the man who is now suspected of the murder of former minister Els Borst. PvdA Parliamentarian Jeroen Recourt fears that there are many more "ticking time bombs" wandering about. Sanctions imposed by a judge in a criminal case can be suspended if an appeal is filed. But that should only happen with minor offenses, says Recourt. He suspects that this also happens in more serious cases. The PvdA wants to know from Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) exactly how often this happens and how the risks can be minimized.

Recourt thinks that human safety must always be paramount in decisions the government make about potentially dangerous suspects. According to him, such decision must not only be looked at through criminal law glasses, but civil solutions should also actively be sought.

The Public Prosecutor in Rotterdam wanted Van U. to get treatment a few years ago in a criminal case for illegal firearm possession. Van U had delusions and fears of an Islamic terrorist attack. In 2012 the court also considered a personality examination necessary. But because he refused to cooperate and appealed the court's decision, Van U. managed to escape treatment.

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