Dutch police not doing enough to protect vulnerable victims: Inspectorate
Vulnerable victims of criminal offenses are insufficiently protected by the police. The protection must ensure, among other things, that they do not again fall victim to a crime, intimidation, or revenge, but the police do not always pay sufficient attention to possible vulnerabilities. This was stated in the study 'A vulnerable right' by the Justice and Security Inspectorate, published on Monday. It is not clear how many people are involved.
Whether the safety of a victim is considered depends, for example, on the officer who takes the report or the situation in which this happens - on the street or at the police station. The Inspectorate concluded that the current working method of the police is "insufficiently systematic". The cause is, among other things, limited knowledge among police officers and the lack of guidance and assurance within the organization.
Since 2018, the police have to check when taking a report whether the victim involved is vulnerable and whether protection is necessary. A vulnerable victim can be protected by, for example, not including personal data in the file or issuing a restraining order against the suspect.
"A few years ago, the police made a nice plan for how officers could be familiarized with this special protection right. Training employees was an important part of this," the Inspectorate wrote. "But in practice, the number of training hours turned out to be much lower. The training is no longer given." The Inspectorate also found that knowledge from other organizations like Victim Support Netherlands is insufficiently used. The police indicated that they recognize the problems and are working on improving them. The Inspectorate wants to see improvement plans within six months.
An estimated 15 percent of the Dutch population fall victim to a criminal offense every year. About a third of them file a report with the police.
Reporting by ANP.