Minister pledges to find 12,500 missing criminals

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has told MPs he will do his utmost to track down 12,500 convicted criminals who still have to serve a prison term.

Most of them have not gone to prison because they failed to turn up at their trial. Attendance in court is not compulsory in the Netherlands. A small percentage did not return to jail after being allowed out on leave, Teeven said.

Some 80% of the missing crooks face a sentence of less than three months, with just 4% heading for a year or more in jail.

Teeven and MPs described the figures as ‘unacceptable’. He told parliament that he would report back on the situation at the end of the year.

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