Percentage of dropped criminal cases doubled in 10 years

Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton). (Lady Justice (Picture: Twitter/@danvelton))

Last year the Public Prosecutor decided to drop 20 percent of all completed criminal cases, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released. Ten years ago, 10 percent of criminal cases were dropped, ANP reports.

Dropping a case means that the Prosecutor decided not to prosecute a suspect. This sometimes happens due to lack of evidence, or because a choice had to be made due to limited resources. The Prosecutor also dropped 4 percent of cases on a conditional basis, also double the percentage in 2007. In such cases, the suspect agrees to comply with conditions - such as an area ban, paying compensation or agreeing to undergo treatment. If the suspect fails to comply with these conditions, he or she will be prosecuted.

In 2016 the Public Prosecutor made a decision on a total of 203 thousand cases, 28 percent less than in 2007. A total of 94 thousand criminal cases ended up in court last year, also 28 percent less than in 2007.  In 11 percent of the cases, the court acquitted the suspect or dismissed the case. The number of community service sentences given by the courts was 22 percent lower last year than in 2007.