Teeven launches national confidential telephone line on extortion
Today, State Secretary Fred Teeven of Security and Justice will launch the national confidential telephone line on extortion. The confidential telephone line is intended to induce victims to come forward, so that the extortion can be ended. As of today, victims of extortion can call 06 22 96 27 71 and relate their story. The confidential telephone line is intended for entrepreneurs and is independent, and the anonymity of the caller is guaranteed.
Extortion is a crime that is difficult to deal with. Research shows that 0.14% to 1% of companies annually falls victim to extortion. Yet, only eighty cases of extortion on average are brought to the attention of the police and the judiciary each year. Fear of reprisals, damage to the image and other commercial motives, feelings of shame and powerlessness, and lack of confidence in the police are some of the reasons why there is little willingness to report extortion. In order to deal with extortion, it is primarily of importance that victims are not afraid to come forward, so that the police and the judiciary ultimately gain insight into the offence, can take action, and can offer the victim solid support during this process. In order to lower threshold for reporting extortion, the confidential telephone line on extortion will be introduced nationally. The introduction of the national confidential telephone line is one of the five action points from the "Programme Plan to Deal with Extortion".
The aim of confidential telephone line 06 22 96 27 71 is to offer a place where entrepreneurs who are victims of extortion can tell their story, and to assist them in word and deed. If the entrepreneur as yet decides to file a report with the police at a later stage, the confidential adviser will offer support and will arrange for contact with the police if necessary. A comparable telephone line has been in operation in the Limburg region for several years and has proved to have a low threshold for victims of crime. Confidential advisers are not employed by the police or the judiciary, which means that the threshold for victims to come forward is lower.
The national confidential telephone line will run on a trial basis for six months in order to determine the effects. It concerns a joint initiative of the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW)/Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland) and the Royal Dutch Horeca Association (KHN). The confidential telephone line is one of the measures from the "Programme Plan to Deal with Extortion", in which the police, the judiciary, the foundation Report Crime Anonymously (Meld Misdaad Anoniem), the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers / the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Royal Dutch Horeca Association work together to better deal with extortion. Other measures included in this programme plan are increasing the knowledge and resilience of companies; increasing the willingness to report and submit a police report, and professionalising the approach by the police.