At least 35 criminals escaped last year by breaking ankle monitor

At least 35 criminals escaped in the Netherlands by cutting their electronic ankle monitor last year, the Telegraaf reports based on figures from Probation Netherlands.  Most of these cases involved criminals awaiting trial or serving the final stage of their sentence, according to the newspaper.

A total of about 1,600 criminals in the Netherlands are currently wearing an ankle monitor. "With 98 percent of wearers everything goes well", Sjef van Gennip, CEO of Probation Netherlands, said to the newspaper. 

Among the criminals who escaped in this way last year are three murderers, 11 robbers, a rapist and three drug criminals, including cocaine baron Cetin G.  His escape raised questions among police, police unions and politicians about the reliability of ankle monitors. Van Gennip could not say whether any of them returned to custody. 

According to Van Gennip, the ankle monitor is not intended to hold someone prisoner, but "to see where he finds himself". "An electronic check is always a risk. With a scissors cutting is impossible, but you don't need bolt cutters for it", he said. Nevertheless, he still believes in the method. "The chance of recidivism with an ankle monitor wearer is considerably smaller. He sustains less custody damage because he can continue to work and maintain social relationships.