Victims' rights in the Northern Netherlands Regional Unit

Man wandelt met hond in natuur

Every year, an estimated fifteen percent of the Dutch population falls victim to a criminal offence. First contact with the police is very important to prevent the suffering of victims from being renewed or exacerbated. Also, some people are more likely to be repeat-victims. A lot has changed for victims in recent years and great strides have been taken to improve the position of victims. For example, victims' rights have now been legally defined.

In 2018, the police introduced a new method with regard to Victims' Rights: the 'Individual Assessment'. However, an inspection report by the Ministry of Justice and Security states that the police are not yet paying sufficient attention to the vulnerability and protection needs of victims of criminal offences. The new way of working was a major new task for the police and still appears to be. Out of good intentions, an attempt has been made to implement the new approach, but as yet there is no good method of putting things into practice. There is certainly more attention for victims, but not enough based on a structured and systematic working method, as is the idea behind Individual Assessment.

To improve this situation, a national assignment has been given to the regional units. The IWP Care & Safety supports the Northern Netherlands unit in this. The aim is to offer measures on the subject of victims' rights and protection at grassroots team level. The research is divided into three phases and will be completed in 2025.

During the first phase, students will conduct interviews with police officers at all base teams in the Northern Unit to assess the current situation. Based on the results a GAP analysis and SWOT analysis will be made. This provides insight into the difference between the current and the desired situation. During the second phase, based on the previous findings of the base team, an action plan is drawn up containing improvement measures. Subsequently, in the third and final phase, students will conduct interviews again within the Northern Unit to assess the situation at that time. Based on this information, a new GAP analysis is made. Ultimately, this will provide insight into whether the basic teams have come closer to the desired situation and whether the new working method regarding Victims' Rights has found a better way into practical implementation.


Roy Krijger