Dutch police to assess vulnerability of victim in each crime report

Rotterdam police use dogs to comfort victims in questioning
Rotterdam police use dogs to comfort victims in questioning. (Photo: Politie Rotterdam / Facebook)

From Friday the Dutch police will assess the vulnerability of each victim who reports a crime. This is to ensure that the victim does not fall victim to another crime and gets the help he or she needs, NOS reports.

Police officers will assess whether the victim is at risk of being threatened or if there is a chance of retaliation after the report is filed. Where necessary, the police and Public Prosecutor can then immediately take measures, like issuing restraining orders or protecting the victim in another way. 

These new measures are the result of European guidelines on victim care, which the Netherlands must adhere to. In February Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection presented his plans for how to better protect victims. This new approach is a collaboration between the police, the Public Prosecutor and Victim Support Netherlands. The new method must also ensure that victims get the same support everywhere in the Netherlands, are not forgotten and know exactly where to go for aid.

The police, Prosecutor and Victim Support already experimented with assessing the vulnerability of victims in Arnhem and Maastricht. The police there devoted more time to taking declarations and referred more people to Victim Support. "The assessment is a reminder for us to think consciously about the victim", Catja Bergsma of the Limburg police said to NOS. "We noticed that victims found it a relief when they were immediately put on the right track.

The new approach will mean more work for the police. Around 125 extra people will be appointed to lighten this load, according to the broadcaster.