Police made mistakes in sex abuse case where victim tracked down perpetrator: inspectorate

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Dutch police logo. Photo: Politie

The Noord-Holland police made multiple mistakes in the investigation into a sexual assault case in Hoorn, the Inspectorate for Security and Justice concluded after looking into the investigation. The victim tracked down the man who tried to rape her herself, NU.nl reports.

According to the inspectorate's report, sent to the chief of police on Wednesday, the police's communication with the victim was not proactive enough and unclear, and the police should have acted more quickly.

In October last year, 28-year-old Somalian man Mohammed M. from Hoogwoud sexually assaulted and tried to rape the 28-year-old woman and stole her phone in Hoorn. She tracked down her attacker by using the 'find my iPhone' app installed on her phone and took the information to the police. The police only arrested him months later, according to the newspaper.

Lea Wallage, head of detection at the Noord-Holland police's sex crime department, agreed that the police made mistakes in this investigation. "The disappointment of the victim is painful and justified", he said to the Telegraaf on Wednesday. "We did not use all possible means of investigation, for example with telephone data. We should've applied the strategy that the victim used."

M. was sentenced to 18 months in prison, six of which conditionally suspended, earlier this year. The sentence is high enough to potentially have consequences for his residency status in the Netherlands. 

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