Regional 'Top X' approach targets mentally disturbed people

A number of care and safety houses have developed an intensive person-specific approach for getting a better picture of the top X mentally disturbed people in their region. Mentally disturbed people exhibit different degrees of aggressive, disruptive and dangerous behaviour. One specific sub-group seems to be responsible for a significant portion of all public nuisance offences and risky situations. This group requires extra attention from all stakeholders: the police, Public Prosecution Service, health care insurers, municipalities, the Dutch Mental Health Care Association (GGZ) and Care for the Disabled (GHZ).

Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus sent a letter to this effect to the House of Representatives today, also on behalf of Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker and State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Paul Blokhuis. In the letter, the ministers and state secretaries also responded to the recommendations in the interim report prepared by Mr Hoekstra in connection with the Bart van U. case. Minister Grapperhaus shares Mr Hoekstra's sense of urgency when it comes to DNA testing for convicted people, and when it comes to the issue of mentally disturbed people.

The collectively organised person-specific approach is directed towards one specific target group within a much larger group of mentally disturbed people who do not cause any public nuisance and only need care and support. This specific target group has a negative influence on the image of the whole. There is often no (or no longer a) basis in criminal law for the approach towards these people, who consistently refuse the treatment and care they need.

Various care and safety houses have now set up pilot projects to develop an intensive approach for this target group of people who exhibit aggressive, disruptive and dangerous behaviour. The approach forms part of the multi-year plan for care and safety houses (meerjarenagenda van de zorg- en veiligheidshuizen) 2017-2020. The pilot projects serve to elaborate an integrated personal-specific approach in which various stakeholders in the areas of health care, welfare and security collaborate more effectively and form a better picture of this complex target group.

It is crucial that this group continues to be monitored, and that care measures can be scaled up or down depending on the situation. When someone in this category moves to a different region, it is important for the public safety in that region that the local authorities are informed about this. To this end, care and safety houses are working together to create a national known persons check. The plan is that this national known persons check will be in operation at the beginning of next year.

This will be linked to the field standard life-cycle function of the 'Continuity of care' programme that will be implemented across the country in 2020. The purpose of the life-cycle function is to bring stability to all people involved with regard to their health care, living arrangements, work/daytime activities and debt restructuring.

Follow-up to transition team

Thanks to the efforts of the transition team for mentally disturbed people, a foundation has been laid in consultation with all the relevant partners, clients and their families for a good approach for dealing with mentally disturbed people. It is crucial that worrying signals regarding mentally disturbed people are detected early, reported promptly, and dealt with accordingly by the right professionals. In order to develop the approach further, there will be a follow-up to the transition team. The House of Representatives will be informed about this before the end of this year.