Amsterdam hospitals to help police combat violent crime

Seven Amsterdam hospitals are to take part in a three-year pilot which police hope will help reduce violent crime, by collecting information from the victims themselves.

From September, medical staff at accident and emergency departments will ask patients about their injuries and where the attack occurred, the NRC reports. This information will be made anonymous and passed on to police and the city council.

The justice ministry is funding the project with a €100,000 grant.

At the moment, just 25% of violent crime victims are thought to report the attack to the police. Police hope the project will allow them to build up a better picture of risk areas and types of crime.

To ensure patient privacy is maintained, all the reports will be screened by a special committee before being passed to officials. The agreement also states the police will not be allowed to use the information to help solve crimes.

The project is based on an experiment in Cardiff, Wales, which has led to a 40% reduction in violent crime since 2003. This is because police are better able to target their efforts in high-risk areas.