Maximum prison terms for organized crime, revenge porn increased

The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, approved a legislative proposal by Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security to increase the maximum punishments for crimes that fall under organized crime. The new law, which will take effect on January 1st, also includes a harsher approach to revenge porn and a longer statute of limitation for child abuse.

"The boundaries between what is and what is not permitted in the Netherlands must be clear", Grapperhaus said. "Crime affects the rule of law and that leads to feelings of insecurity. That is why the government must be able to respond effectively."

The biggest change is that the abuse of sexual image material is now a separate criminal offense which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. This measure is intended to tackle revenge porn - sharing sexual photos or video to harm someone else - more effectively. This also incudes the production of sexual images without permission, such as secretly recording sexual intercourse or filming under someone's skirt on the street.

The statute of limitation for child abuse is also being extended. Currently the limitation period starts on the day after the abuse is committed. Under the new law, it starts the day after the victim turns 18 years old. The Minister believes this will give victims more opportunity to report the crimes committed against them. 

Crimes for which the maximum punishment will increase:

  • Participating in a criminal organization involved in serious crimes, up from six years to 10 years in prison
  • Trade and possession of automatic firearms and dangerous explosives like hand grenades, up to eight years in prison
  • Inciting hatred, discrimination or violence based on a discriminatory motive, up from one year to two years in prison
  • Hindering care providers and first responders in their work, up from one month to three months in prison

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