‘Support for victims of stalking is inadequate’

The approach to stalking has improved, but victims still receive insufficient support during their case. That writes the Justice and Security Inspectorate in a report published on Thursday. Communication with victims in particular is inadequate.

The report is the latest in a series of investigations published by the inspectorate since the much-discussed murder of sixteen-year-old Hümeyra Ergincanli in 2018 by her ex-partner and stalker Bekir E. A year after her death concluded the inspectorate found that the approach to stalking was “seriously deficient”. The organizations involved – including the police, the Public Prosecution Service, the aid organization Veilig Thuis and the probation service – worked at cross purposes at the time. Then-minister Ferd Grapperhaus (CDA) apologized to Hümeyra’s family on behalf of the government in 2019.

In the report entitled Stalked. Seen. Heard? the inspectorate sees that the case has made a great impression on the authorities involved and that the approach has been improved. The police recognize stalking better and have become more alert. Collaboration between the four organizations involved has also improved.

But there are still “bottlenecks”, especially with the police. The most concrete recommendation is that victims should be given a single point of contact to handle their case. This was already described in an earlier report and remains an issue now. “It was precisely this aspect that went wrong at Hümeyra, and the Inspectorate therefore finds it worrying that this is still not in order,” the report says.