VIII. Security and justice

Security is one of the government’s core tasks. People should be able to feel safe on our streets and in our neighbourhoods. The police and the justice system must be able to act decisively and authoritatively when confronted with anti-social behaviour, intimidation, aggression, robberies, break-ins and violence. Vulnerable groups must be able to count on the authorities. By working together effectively, parents, teachers, youth care professionals and police officers can signal problem behaviour in good time and so prevent young people from embracing lives of crime. Courts will be given the power to impose new-style training orders as additional measures. Obstacles that prevent the police and the criminal justice authorities from taking effective action will be removed where possible. Despite the introduction of the national police force there will still be a focus on local priorities. The public will be involved more closely in public safety and security policy in the community. Priority neighbourhoods will remain priorities. The men and women on the front lines deserve our support, and should not have to switch to desk jobs in order to earn a higher salary.  Putting more officers on the street will not only improve public safety and security, it will also increase the chance of catching offenders. We will reduce recidivism by providing appropriate penalties and timely social rehabilitation which offers offenders better future prospects. We will also improve the position of the victims of crime – before, during and after criminal proceedings. We will recoup the costs of compensating victims from offenders. Protecting the privacy of citizens is also of crucial importance; the government should serve as guarantor in this regard.

•    The national police will receive €105 million extra per year. This will make it possible to put more officers on the street and to increase investigative capacity.
•    The bill amending the Police Act 2012 will be pushed ahead, with a view to embedding the police more firmly at local level. Specifically, mayors will be involved more closely in the designation of regional mayors and the justice minister will consult regularly with mayors on key local matters, such as the allocation of police capacity and the appointment of senior police officers.
•    Public servants and emergency workers deserve respect. The Safe Public Services programme supports this goal. It will also be possible to lodge a criminal complaint anonymously.
•    The powers vested in local special enforcement officers and the equipment provided to them will be organised more effectively.
•    The following goals will receive special attention throughout the justice system: promoting innovation, improving detection rates, optimising the execution of judgments, increasing the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, expediting criminal cases, stepping up the investigation and prosecution of juvenile offences, and tackling serious offences such as robbery, burglary and violent crime.
•     Sentences in excess of two years will be enforced immediately, even if the defendant lodges an appeal. In cases involving victims, this measure will apply to sentences in excess of one year.
•    An adolescent criminal code will be introduced; two years will remain the maximum term of youth detention.
•    Arrangements will be introduced requiring prisoners to pay a financial contribution toward the cost of their detention.
•    With good behaviour, prisoners can earn greater freedom of movement and early release. The current system of phased detention will be discontinued.
•    Through better provision of information (under strict conditions) and intensified observation (if necessary), we intend to stop defendants from benefiting from refusing to cooperate with a psychiatric examination. To facilitate this, the Forensic Care Bill will be introduced as soon as possible.
•    We will make it possible to impose life-long supervision of sexual and violent offenders.
•    Public and private security bodies will start transmitting surveillance images of offences and incidents directly to police control rooms.
•    A dedicated victim support desk will be introduced. The scope of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund will be extended to include death caused by serious traffic offences, among other offences. The right of victims to be heard in criminal proceedings will be expanded.
•    The costs of criminal proceedings will be recouped from offenders where possible.
•    It will become easier to hold suspects in pre-trial detention until (summary) proceedings begin.
•    In the event of a concurrence of offences, the courts will have more scope to impose appropriate penalties.
•    Minimum sentencing requirements will be laid down for serious cases of recidivism in the Public Prosecution Service’s sentencing guidelines.
•    Human trafficking and associated prostitution will be tackled more aggressively.
•    We are intensifying efforts across the board to tackle organised crime. We will impose tougher penalties for money laundering and improve the confiscation of criminal assets. The ceiling for fines in respect of legal persons will be abolished.
•    Where cyber security is concerned, both threat levels and vulnerability are increasing. We aim to address this by joining forces with all interested parties, increasing investigative capacity in this area and adapting legal instruments to the new realities.
•    We will examine whether extending the length of time that case files are retained can help solve cold cases.
•    The coffee shop membership card will not go ahead. However, access to coffee shops will be restricted to Dutch residents who can produce proof of identity or a residence permit, together with an extract from the population register. Enforcement will be carried out in consultation with the municipalities concerned and will be phased in if necessary, so as to align with local coffee shop- and security policy. This will ensure the system can be tailored to local circumstances.
•    We are committed to continuing efforts to combat drug tourism and drug-related organised crime. Drug running and street-level dealing will be dealt with severely. Maximum levels for the active substance in soft drugs will be introduced.
•    Civil proceedings will be greatly simplified and digitised. The distinction between a petition and a writ of summons will be abolished. Appeal proceedings will be streamlined.
•    It will be possible for people to divorce without involving the courts, providing no children are involved and both partners have reached agreement on the divorce.
•    We will modernise betting and gaming policy. Online games of chance, sports betting and poker tournaments will be strictly regulated. This will reduce the proliferation of illegal gambling. There will be strict monitoring of compliance with the conditions attached to gaming permits. Providing gambling services is not one of the government’s core tasks and therefore Holland Casino will be sold, subject to conditions.
•    Copyright will be modernised so as to protect creative works without damaging the scope for consumer use.
•    We will make it possible to conduct administrative law proceedings online.
•    The Council of State will be split into a judicial division and an advisory division. The judicial division will be merged with the Central Appeals Court for Public Service and Social Security Matters and the Administrative Court for Trade and Industry.
•    The oversight body for privacy, the Data Protection Authority, will be given greater powers, including the authority to impose more fines. Protection of personal data must be the guiding principle when data systems are built or data files created. A privacy impact assessment (PIA) should be carried out as a standard procedure. Infringements by the government are subject to a sunset clause and will be evaluated.
•    The government will not support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in its current form.
•    Net neutrality will be strictly observed in new legislation.
•    We will support cooperation within and between the safety regions and will proceed with the regionalisation of the fire service.
•    The Football Hooliganism Act will be amended to provide for higher penalties, fines for clubs that do not enforce the ban on hooligans and banning orders relating to stadiums and other areas for first-time offenders.
Excessive alcohol use, especially by young people, is cause for serious concern and can result in severe damage to health. The minimum age for the purchase of alcohol will be raised to 18. This measure will be strictly enforced and will be accompanied by a major public information campaign.