Fugitive convicts strategy yields first positive result

The number of convicted persons who are yet to serve their sentence has fallen slightly over the past year. Figures on the number of fugitive convicts show that there were more resolved cases than new ones. This is the crux of the letter that Minister Dekker (Legal Protection) submitted to the Lower House of Parliament today. This reduction is partially a result of the efforts of the team set up by the police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) and the Judicial Information Service (JustID) under the Untraceable Convicts programme.

'This is a step in the right direction, but we're not home and dry yet. The number of sentences that is executed late or not at all can and should be reduced still further. It is vital to the credibility of our rule of law that sentences are actually served, otherwise they lose their meaning for the perpetrators, the victims and society as a whole.'

according to Minister Dekker.

Untraceable Convicts programme

Last year, Minister Dekker unveiled the Untraceable Convicts programme, as part of which he introduced a number of measures to reduce the number of fugitive convicts. Aside from the small reduction in the number of untraceable convicts, the programme has given law enforcement a better idea of which convicts remain on the run. The majority of these have fled abroad. Convicts who have more than 120 days left to serve are placed on the International Most Wanted List and a European warrant for their arrest is issued within the EU. As for convicts who have fewer than 120 days left to serve, Minister Dekker is currently investigating possibilities to enter into bilateral agreements regarding detection and arrest.

Security Agenda 2019–2022

In the national policy objectives for the performance of police duties, the detection of fugitive criminals has been named as one of the police force's priorities. These objectives, also known as the Security Agenda 2019–2022, also specify the ambition to detect at least 40% of convicts who are expected to be traceable (around 1300 persons) by the middle of 2020.

A new police system, Executie & Signalering (Execution and Identification), will help reduce the number of untraceable convicts in the Netherlands even further. Thanks to this system, which went live on 1 October and has also been installed as an app on police officers' smartphones, the police now have a clearer overview of all cases related to a specific person, including outstanding prison sentences or fines. As a result, all police officers can now use their smartphones to access person-specific information about outstanding sentences, providing a strong boost to detection rates.