Nearly 50 thousand violent crimes were dismissed by the Public Prosecutor (OM) in 2007. The dismissal rate for violent crimes was nearly 19 percent last year as against 13 percent in 2004. The dismissal rate for violent crimes is higher than for other crimes included in the Penal Code. The total amount of cases dismissed by the OM has been almost stable since 2000.
Total number of dismissals stable
Public prosecutor and courts settled nearly 250 thousand criminal cases last year. The OM accounted for nearly half of the settlements.
Just over 12 percent of all cases dealt with by OM and courts were dismissed: the OM does not prosecute the suspect, for instance, because of lack of evidence. The share of dismissals has been all but stable since 2000.
Nearly 30 percent of cases dealt with by the OM concern transactions and the proportion is growing, particularly the number of community service sentences imposed by the OM.
Dismissals by the Public Prosecutor
Increasing amount of violent crimes and cases of vandalism
The amount of violent crimes, vandalism and violation of the public order has increased in recent years. In 2000, nearly 14 percent of cases dealt with by the OM and Dutch courts concerned violent crimes, as against nearly 20 percent in 2007. Vandalism and violation of the public order rose from 12 to 15 percent over the same period.
Crimes against property are still the largest crime category.
This category made up one quarter of all criminal cases in 2007.
Number of dismissals by type of crime
Violent crimes more often dismissed
Public Prosecutor and courts settled over 50 thousand violent crime cases last year. The OM dismissed more than 9 thousand cases, i.e. nearly 19 percent as opposed to 13 percent in 2004. Just over 12 percent of all criminal cases were dismissed last year.
With respect to violent crimes, there has been a relatively high amount of dismissals on the grounds of non-likelihood of conviction since 2003. In one quarter of cases in 2007, the victim appeared to be also guilty.
Nynke de Lange