Fines raised to help Dutch Justice budget

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The Dutch Ministry of Justice is increasing fines all around in an effort to rake in more money. Press reports say that fines for traffic offences and other relatively small breaches of the law will be increased by 15 percent.

Illustrating the kind of behaviour that the ministry is hoping to capitalise on, daily De Telegraaf on Thursday quoted minor offences like relieving oneself in the street, walking one's dog where that is not allowed, not pointing one's hand when bicycling around a corner, "borrowing" a supermarket trolley, or riding on a bus without a ticket.

The expected rise in traffic fines was reported on Tuesday by daily NRC Handelsblad. Another move by the ministry is to turn away from convicting people to community service, opting for fining them instead.

It is not clear how the Justice Ministry wil find sufficient policemen to book the petty offenders. Police unions and the Socialist Party recently claimed that earlier cuts had reduced their operational staffing to "perilously low levels".

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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