Why are the police failing to tackle petty crime? Ministers Dilan Yesilgöz and Franc Weerwind must provide the House of Representatives with an explanation.
The questions have been submitted by Songul Mutluer (Labour Party) and Frank Wassenberg (Animal party). Reason is the recent revelation of De Gelderlander that the police in East Netherlands want to invest little or no energy in petty crime. This is stated in an internal policy document available to this newspaper.
Together with the Public Prosecution Service (OM), a list has been drawn up of violations of the law that may be ignored. In addition to animal cruelty, hemp farms (up to two hundred plants) and scams up to 2000 euros, these include matters such as money laundering up to 5000 euros, ID fraud and refueling without paying.
Mayors in East Netherlandssuch as Mark Boumans van Doetinchem and Ton Heerts van Apeldoorn, reacted indignantly. PvdA and Party for the Animals want to know whether the ministers also share this outrage? Do victims who come to report know that little or nothing will happen with their case?
The Party for the Animals believes that animal abuse should not be regarded as ‘petty crime’. Perpetrators of animal abuse often also show violence against people, as they point to studies into the relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence. ‘Is the timely identification of perpetrators not only in the interest of animals, but also an important part of combating violence against people?’
The PvdA also wants to know from both ministers whether all police regions have such a delete list.
According to the police and judiciary, sharp choices are unavoidable: there are too many reports and far too few officers to be able to handle everything. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) and the courts are also under pressure; it is not for nothing that more than 1,200 police court cases were previously canceled in Gelderland.
Chief Prosecutor Marthyne Kunst and Janny Knol, the highest police chief in the East Netherlands, said in conversation with The Gelderlander that criminal law is ‘not always the solution’ ‘to combat petty crime’. With assistance and good guidance you often solve more problems than by tracing and prosecuting perpetrators of the first shoplifting or small cannabis farm. said Chief Prosecutor Marthyne Kunst and police chief Janny Knol of East Netherlands opposite The Gelderlander.
The idea is that by making stricter selection, the police and the Public Prosecution Service will have more manpower to solve crimes with more effect on and consequences for victims and society. Which does not alter the fact that if it takes little effort, agents may pick up a case; and mayors also help determine what needs to be tackled locally.
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