Police flooded with sex crime reports after The Voice scandal
The Dutch police received a flood of sex crime reports following the revelation of sexual abuses around The Voice of Holland. In the first three months of this year, 4,000 people reported sexual violence like rape, assault, child sex abuse, and grooming to the police, 1,100 more than the same period last year, AD reports.
The police connected the increase in reports and the BOOS broadcast that revealed sexual misconduct on the talent show in mid-January. The many new reports show how big a problem sexual violence is in society, Lidewijde van Lier, a sex crime expert at the police, said to AD. "Many people with a bad experience were touched by his news and wanted to tell that they also experienced something that was not okay."
The National Lawyers Network for Victims of Violence and Sex Crimes also noticed that more victims are coming forward. "The Voice has clearly stirred things up, more than other abuse cases because now well-known people are accused. We also see that more young people are coming forward. That may have to do with the audience watching the program," chairman Richard Korver said to the newspaper.
To help provide better support for victims and reduce the police's workload, people who report a sex crime will soon automatically get offered a victim lawyer to help them. Until recently, vice detectives often held the first conversations with victims by themselves. "They were experienced as discouraging," Korver said to the newspaper. "We are on the victim's side. If we explain why something is difficult to prove, it comes across differently."
The boom in new reports comes at a time when the police are already struggling with a major backlog in handling sex crime cases. Only about half of sex crime cases reported to the police are investigated and forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service within the agreed-upon period of six months. The department is severely understaffed.
The government recently made money available to recruit 90 new detectives, according to the newspaper. About half of those positions have been filled, but the police officers first have to undergo training before they can start working.