Crime victims complain about police

27th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Belgians who are the victim of a crime and who file a complaint with the police are often unhappy with the handling of their complaint. The consumer rights organisation Test Aankoop polled 2,400 people.

27 November 2007

BRUSSELS - Belgians who are the victim of a crime and who file a complaint with the police are often unhappy with the handling of their complaint. The consumer rights organisation Test Aankoop polled 2,400 people.

In 2006 1 in every 4 Belgians was the victim of a crime. The most common crimes were car vandalism, burglaries and other forms of theft. The victims who filed a complaint with the police are for the most part unhappy with how the complaint was handled. 66 percent of the victims said that there was absolutely no follow up on their complaint. Close to 60 percent complain about the lack of information regarding their particular case.

Belgians who have not been the victim of crime clearly have a more positive view of the police services. They rate the police more highly in terms of being friendly, polite and non-discriminatory.

About 40 percent of petty crime goes unreported, mostly because people think that nothing will be done about it anyway. When criminals are punished, most Belgians think the sentences are too light, or ineffectual.

The psychological impact of being a victim of crime is considerable, even if the crime is petty.  Furthermore, the victim is often troubled long after the crime takes place.

Many victims suffer from irrational fear and sleeping disorders. Only 6 percent of the victims actually seek professional help from a psychologist.

Petty crime also has considerable societal and economic consequences, according to Test Aankoop.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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