The Dutch government is implementing a number of law changes on January 1st. Below find a summary of changes made in the category Law, Safety and Defense.
The police raided three buildings belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses last month in an investigation into sexual abuse within the religious community. Four homes were also searched, with the goal of finding documents on internal investigations, NU.nl reports.
A video Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection posted on Twitter after a working visit to insurer Achmea caused some angry reactions, especially from lawyers. They called it an "promotional video", "shameless", and "unworthy of a Minister", RTL Nieuws reports.
The Public Prosecution Service launched a criminal investigation into sexual abuse in the faith community of Jehovah's Witnesses, Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection said in a letter to parliament. Five people from different regions in the Netherlands filed declarations of sexual abuse, he said, ANP reports.
"At the Public Prosecutor, the declarations were carefully dealt with by specialist sex crime officers in the regions", the Minister said. He previously called on victims to file declarations so that a criminal investigation can be launched.
A disruption at telecom provider Tele2 over the weekend turned off hundreds of ankle monitors. The disruption started late on Friday morning. By Sunday morning, all ankle monitors were again connected with the control room, the Ministry of Justice and Security said, RTL Nieuws reports.
The government is planning to close four prisons in the Netherlands, sources told newspaper AD. The prisons need to close because there are too many empty cells in the country, but this will also cause job losses for prison staff.
The prisons in Zoetermeer, Zeist, Almere and Zwaag are on the list to be closed, according to the newspaper. By choosing those prisons, the government hopes to save prisons outside the Randstad, where prison workers will have a harder time finding new work.
From Friday the Dutch police will assess the vulnerability of each victim who reports a crime. This is to ensure that the victim does not fall victim to another crime and gets the help he or she needs, NOS reports.
Police officers will assess whether the victim is at risk of being threatened or if there is a chance of retaliation after the report is filed. Where necessary, the police and Public Prosecutor can then immediately take measures, like issuing restraining orders or protecting the victim in another way.
The number of reports of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses now stands at 267, Reclaimed Voices, a foundation that manages the hotline for this type of abuse, said to newspaper Trouw.
Criminals sentenced to prison for at least six years, may soon no longer automatically be eligible for release after serving two thirds of their sentence. Minister Sander Dekker of Legal Protection is submitting a legislative proposal to that effect on Tuesday, he said to newspaper AD.
"We want to increase the credibility of imposed sentences", he said to the newspaper. "If someone gets 18 years after a terrible crime, but is already out twelve years later, then that is difficult to explain."
Internal security is below par in six penitentiary institutions in the Netherlands. They don't have enough well trained staff and the handling of detainees leaves much to be desired, the Justice and Security Inspectorate said in a report after inspecting the six prisons, ANP reports.
In the coming years the Dutch government, judges and criminal lawyers will take more measures to protect victims of crime and give them more rights, Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection announced on Thursday - the European day of the victim. One such measure is to oblige suspects of violent- or sex crimes to attend their trial and listen to the victims should they choose to speak, NOS reports.
Today is the Rutte III government's 100th day in office. Yet many of the ministers in the government are still just as unknown to the Dutch public as when they took office, according to a study by Kantar Public, BNR reports.
The most anonymous members of the Rutte III government are Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care and Sports. Only 7 percent of respondents knew who they are. Hugo de Jonge, Minster of Public Health, Welfare and Sports, did slightly better with 12 percent of respondents knowing who he is.