Dutch police catch almost 600 fugitives using new app
Thanks to a new app, the Dutch police have been able to detain almost 600 fugitives in the last seven months. These fugitives are people who still have outstanding prison time.
New app helping police success
The new app allows the police to check those they stop for any outstanding penalties instantly and arrest them if necessary. In the Netherlands, those convicted of a crime are not always sent directly to prison. Many are given a date on which they must report to prison for the commencement of their sentence. Some, however, simply flee and difficulties arise in having them extradited, especially if the sentence is shorter than 120 days in prison.
Before the app, the details of fugitives were kept in several different registers. This made it difficult for the police to check whether those apprehended had outstanding sentences, and also made it possible for fugitives to change addresses. Last year, there were around 11.000 fugitives in the Netherlands. This number has now shrunk to 10.164.
Police have been able to arrest 585 people with outstanding sentences in the last seven months and were also able to look up the address details of fugitives much more easily using the app. The 585 people arrested were not just those with short outstanding sentences, but also those with sentences for a longer period of time, even years. There is a special team which hunts down criminals avoiding long jail sentences.
Minster of Legal Protection Sander Dekker is happy with the new system and has also implemented other measures to reduce the number of fugitives. As such, since last month, the police are notified if a fugitive tries to request benefits.
To catch those criminals with long outstanding sentences for serious crimes like murder, sex offences and robberies, the police have a special team. Last year, they arrested 126 fugitives whose sentences added up to 66.000 days in prison.