Donner hits back at critics in crime debate

19th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 March 2004, AMSTERDAM — Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner claimed Friday that great headway was being made in the fight against crime.

19 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner claimed Friday that great headway was being made in the fight against crime.

To answer critics in Parliament, Donner sent MPs a letter saying he wanted to counter the image that the police and the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) were not doing enough in the anti-crime battle.

Donner – a Christian Democrat (CDA) minister - has portrayed himself as being very tough on crime but has faced a storm of criticism about his performance from MPs in recent weeks. The CDA's coalition partner D66 has even given the minister a "last warning".

"It [the criticism] does not affect me personally," Donner wrote, "but it does not do justice to the OM and the police who have increased their efforts.  I can not accept that they have to read in the newspapers that things are not going right," Donner said.

The Minister wrote in the letter that the OM handled about 30,000 more criminal cases last year than in 2002. The police dealt with 30,000 more cases in 2003 compared with the previous year, he said.

The number of crimes being reported to police increased dramatically last year and the amount of cases dealt with by district courts around the country rose by 60,000.

He said the higher figures had come about as a result of performance contracts he had signed with the OM, and targets worked out between Interior Minister Johan Remkes and the police.

Donner also said "countless" new measures had been implemented as part of his public safety programme "Naar een veiliger samenleving" (Towards a safer society).

[© Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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