Around 12,000 convicted criminals are escaping justice by disappearing into the community when they should be in prison, justice ministry figures show.
Police are actively looking for 2800 people who still have at least four months left on their sentence, but only one-sixth of these have been traced.
The number of convicts on the run is roughly the same as last year despite the Fugitive Active Search Team (FastNL) being put into service at the beginning of 2015.
Other European countries have set up similar ‘fugitive squads’ so they can share information about convicted criminals who have fled across the border. Around 130 criminals have been located abroad, including 48 in nations which have no extradition arrangements with the Netherlands.
Many convicts disappear when they are sentenced in their absence and ignore letters instructing them to report to jail.
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