60% of reports filed about coronavirus rules violators were incomplete
Since the Netherlands went into an intelligent lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in mind-March, around 18,200 reports were filed about people not adhering to the rules around the lockdown. A total of 7,400 fines were issued by May 10, the Public Prosecutor said on Friday.
The number of fines is so much lower than the number of repots, because many of the reports were incomplete. When the measures were first implemented 60 percent of these reports were sent back to the filer because they were incomplete. That has now been reduced to 40 percent. The reports can be returned to the Public Prosecutor once properly completed, and a fine will be issued if the accused is found guilty. This involves reports about things like people not keeping 1.5 meters apart, or gathering in groups.
So far 70 people appealed against the fines they received, the Prosecutor said.
In addition to reports about people not social distancing, the Public Prosecutor also handled 207 criminal cases related to the coronavirus. This involved crimes like people spitting on police officers or enforcers, and claiming to have to coronavirus. Police officers were most often the target, in 76 cases. In 34 cases, the victim was someone in another public profession, such as an enforcement officer or a hospital worker. There were also six cases of public transit workers being the victim of a coronavirus related crime. "In most cases it involved threats. Some cases also involved violence," the Prosecutor said.
In the above 207 cases, 164 suspects were summoned to appear in court. In seven cases the Public Prosecutor and suspect agreed on a settlement. And 19 cases were dropped due to lack of evidence. The Public Prosecution Service is still considering the remaining 17 cases.