Dutch Probation Service implements stricter security rules around dangerous criminals
The Probation Service Netherlands is implementing a stricter security regime around extremely dangerous suspects and convicts that pose a severe risk to the safety of probation officers. In some cases, if the posed risk is high enough, it may result in the Probation Service refusing criminals - a first in the history of the service, general manager Johan Bac said to AD.
Bac stressed that the new security regime applies to a "very small group" of 150 professional criminals who pose a major security risk. For comparison, the Probation Service works with around 70 thousand convicts and suspects per year. This group is held responsible for serious crimes, such as assassinations. This concerns violent criminals and suspects, but also criminals who are themselves at risk, for example because they are on a hit list.
"These suspects and convicts have serious crimes to their name, are part of a criminal organization. And we as Probation Service Netherlands are at the front line. We do not step away, we take our responsibility, but in a different way, with a special regime for hardened suspects and convicts", Bac said to the newspaper.
The new regime includes measures like probation officers always meeting with the involved criminals in pairs, reporting interviews taking place at extra secure locations as much as possible, and the probation officers' work focusing more emphatically on 'management and control', rather than guidance and assistance. In exceptional cases, it can be decided that guidance is impossible. Then the Probation Service, police, and judiciary will decide together how to proceed. Criminals in question may be detained for longer, for example, so that an adapted probation program can be started in custody.
"The question is what that will solve, but we must be more alert to safety", Bac said.