Public prosecutor to involve mayors in crime footage broadcast

Mayors are to be involved in deciding whether or not video footage of crimes should be made public in an effort to catch the perpetrators, a public prosecution department chief said on Wednesday evening.

Mayors will be consulted about the impact of broadcasting crime footage on public order, Bart Nieuwenhuizen, chief prosecutor in Den Bosch, told a television talk show.

He was reacting to a court decision to give three teenagers lower sentences for a vicious attack in Eindhoven because of the publicity surrounding the case.

The court strongly criticised the department for being too quick to broadcast the footage, without looking at other ways of identifying the attackers. The footage led to a witch hunt on social media.


Nieuwenhuizen told a television talk show the department would be ‘a little cleverer’ with its use of images but would not stop using them. ‘We have learnt things can get out of hand on social media,’ he said. ‘But we are not going to stop using this way of tracking criminals.’

The department is appealing against two of the sentences. Main suspect Brent L, was given 10 months in juvenile detention, four suspended, for his role in that the court said was ‘an explosion of violence’. The prosecution department had called for two years.

Defendent Tom K was given six months in jail, three suspended. This is half the term demanded by the prosector.

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