Prosecutors, police unions criticise fast-track New Year trials

Police unions are disappointed in the result of super fast-track court hearings for people arrested during the New Year festivities, after judges handed down lower sentences than called for by prosecutors.

In several cases in The Hague and Utrecht over the past two days, judges sentenced defendants to fewer days in prison than demanded by the public prosecution department.
In one case in Utrecht, the prosecutor called for a jail term of 60 days for physical violence but the defendant was instead given 60 hours community service, 30 suspended, news agency ANP reported.
‘Police officers are threatened with death, fireworks are thrown at them and they have to run for their lives,’ ACP union spokesman Wiep van der Pal told tv current affairs show EenVandaag. ‘And then the perpetrator gets community service.’
The public prosecution department says it too is disappointed in judges, but has no plans to drop the fast-track trials, ANP said.
The department says people convicted of violence against emergency service workers should get double the sentence and are appealing against several fast-track court rulings.
Around 1,000 people were arrested during the New Year celebrations, of whom 61 were charged with attacking emergency service workers.
Earlier stories
New Year violence still unacceptable, says justice minister

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