Teeven: apprehend offenders who violate special conditions

State Secretary of Security and Justice Teeven wants the Public Prosecution Service to immediately apprehend and lock up offenders who violate an order contact prohibiting, duty to report, location injunction or alcohol or drugs prohibition order. It concerns sanctions that may be attached as special conditions to a suspended sentence and of which it is perfectly clear what is expected of the sentenced person. This is evident from a memorandum of amendment sent to the Lower House.

In this way, the State Secretary wants to protect victims and their immediate circle against offenders who cannot be bothered about obeying the rules. This requires immediate action. The measure is also important to sustain the credibility and effectiveness of working with special conditions and supervision by the probation and aftercare services. In addition, experience has shown that correcting behaviour is more likely to succeed with a prison sentence as a deterrent.

If an order prohibiting contact or a location injunction is not observed, the offender will be arrested immediately and the Public Prosecutor will demand execution of the prison sentence. In future, the Public Prosecution Service will no longer have the option to request the court to extend the probationary period or to change the special conditions. The Public Prosecutor may only forbear prosecution if the sentenced person failed to fulfil the conditions through no fault of his own.

The measure is a result of the coalition agreement in which it was agreed that if an offender does not fulfil the conditions attaching to a suspended sentence, it is guaranteed to the greatest extent possible that imprisonment of the offender will follow. It is also a tightening of the legislative proposal on conditional sanctions, submitted to the Lower House by the previous Cabinet.