Teeven: National network of Victim Support Desks

State Secretary for Security and Justice Teeven will introduce a national network of victim support desks next year. All court districts will have a victim support desk where victims can apply for support and information. In the Victim Support Desk, the police, Victim Support Netherlands and the Public Prosecution Service work together on providing support to the victims of crime.

This was stated today by State Secretary Teeven at the 'Together for the victim' congress in Utrecht. A pilot was started in 2008 in The Hague, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Breda and Maastricht. State Secretary Teeven will now roll the Victim Support Desk out further so that a national network will be created in 2011.

Employees of the Victim Support Desk will provide information to victims during the entire criminal proceedings. They can, for example, request information and an explanation on procedures, the hearing and the decision. The Victim Support Desk can also arrange a meeting with the Public Prosecutor and help victims that wish to exercise their right to be heard. The desk furthermore supports victims in recovering damage or when drawing up a written victim statement. The Victim Support Desk is a partnership of the police, Victim Support Netherlands and the Public Prosecution Service., They are physically next to each other at the Victim Support Desk, creating short lines of communication, which means that victims receive better support.

At the congress, State Secretary Teeven also launched the www.slachtofferloket.com website where victims of crimes can go for information about criminal proceedings and the various rights of the victim. The reason for the congress is the Act on the Strengthening of the Position of Victims in Criminal Proceedings that will enter into effect on 1 January 2011. The Act will expand and embed the rights and possibilities of the victim during the entire criminal proceedings, from the report to release of a convicted person. For example, the possibilities for recovering damages will be expanded, the information position of the victim will be improved and a number of rights will be laid down.