SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Some 1,700 people who were found guilty of committing a crime may end up getting away with not serving time in prison, police researchers said on Thursday.
Thousands of petty crooks are not jailed immediately after their sentencing in court but are sent away to wait to be called to jail. However, many of them disappear from public view.
Over 11,000 names are currently on a list of convicted crooks who have not yet been to jail – three-quarters of whom were sentenced to less than two months in prison. Next year, however, the sentences passed down on 1,700 of them will have passed the statute of limitations, meaning they will no longer have to serve time in prison, the NRC said on Thursday.
The police researchers analysed the database and talked to police investigators, public prosecution department staff, prison staff and state debt collectors. They concluded that not all police officers regard tracking down criminals who have not yet been to jail as a priority and that often key information, such as an accurate address, is missing.
According to broadcaster NOS, most criminals who have avoided jail come from outside the Netherlands and were convicted for theft or drugs offences. (DutchNews)