Ministers are set to back the introduction of fast-track court hearings for people who have been violent towards the emergency services.
Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende told reporters on Friday that a decision by Rotterdam public prosecution department to go ahead with speedy trials was indeed a good one.
The way police officers, firemen and ambulance workers were attacked during the New Year celebrations is ‘completely unacceptable’, Balkenende said.
Every year hundreds of people are arrested, millions of euros worth of damage is caused and a number of buildings go up in smoke during the so-called festivities.
Rotterdam now says it wants to make it quite clear that attacking people doing public jobs is completely unacceptable. So it plans to pull out the stops to make sure repeat offenders get dealt with more speedily by the courts.
But should we really be introducing different classes of justice for different crimes? Why should the drunken moron who throws a firecracker at a policeman be dealt with in a different – and possibly more efficient way – than any other violent criminal?
If fast justice means there is a better chance of changing delinquent behaviour, surely we should be aiming to speed up the legal process across the board.
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