Homophobic youths go free - police negligent
A group of youths who harassed a gay couple until they fled the Leidsche Rijn district in the city of Utrecht will not face prosecution.
While accusing the police and council in Utrecht of negligence regarding the complaints of harassment, the Court of Appeal in Arnhem rejected the couple's request that the Public Prosecutor's Office be ordered to bring charges against some of the youths involved.
The court ruled that a new investigation would be pointless, partly because the alleged crimes were committed more than a year ago.
In 2009 and 2010, the gay couple filed six separate reports of harassment, vandalism and damage to property. One of the reports concerned their car having been rammed deliberately by another vehicle.
The men eventually felt forced to leave the district, selling their home far below market value.
In its ruling the appeal court lashes out at the police and Public Prosecutor's Office, saying they failed to investigate properly whether any crimes had been committed.
The court said there had been a lack of "adequate and decisive action" and "apparently no, or insufficient, priority was given to the reports. Opportunities to solve the alleged crimes were missed.”
The couple will now file lawsuits against the state, the police and Utrecht city council.
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