Police not reporting 20 pct. of public transit violence: report

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The police are not registering violent incidents in public transport properly, according to research done by RTL Nieuws. These incidents must be registered with a specific code, but that does not happen in 20 percent of the cases.

Upon request the police told RTL Nieuws that there were 727 reports of violence against public transit staff in 2014 and 2015. That includes all public transport companies. According to NS, they alone filed 769 such reports in 2014 -  that excludes violent incidents at any of the other public transit companies. An investigation commissioned by the Ministry of Security and Justice also found that NS reported 769 incidents in 2014.

A spokesperson for the police acknowledged that the registration is not in order. He said to RTL that the huge difference in figures is because different search methods were used. In the Security and Justice investigation the reports were manually searched and each was read individually. When the broadcaster requested information, only specific fields in the registration system was searched because reading through each report individually is a lot of work, the spokesperson said.

There is a designated registration code that must be used when registering violent incidents against public transit staff, ambulance workers and firefighters. In 2014 and 2015 this so called VPT code was used in registering 4 out of 5 NS reports, according to the police. According to RTL, the police spokesperson said that the police are satisfied with that score but will bring the correct use of the code to attention again.