Not prosecuted, but record still a hindrance for ex suspects: Ombudsman


Crime suspects who are not prosecuted for lack of evidence are still suffering the consequences because of a code on their police record, the National Ombudsman has said

People whose cases do not come to court are given a code on their record explaining why this has happened. In a number of cases the code is not clear and can stand in the way of former suspects getting the declaration of good behaviour they may need for a job.

Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen has received dozens of complaints in the past two years from people who do not know what the code means or want to appeal against it, he told the NRC.

One of the cases concerns a man who had been accused of abuse but was not prosecuted because of ‘special circumstances’, which were left unexplained. The man has been protesting his innocence and wants the code to be changed to ‘unjustly accused’.

So far the public prosecution office has ‘not done anything much’ about this and other complaints, Van Zutphen said.

Former suspects should be given the opportunity to appeal against the code their cases are given, the Ombudsman said. ‘Now people are left with the thought that it would have been better to have their day in court because then at least they would have been exonerated.’

Last year some 57,000 cases do not make it to court for lack of evidence or because prosecution is deemed to be not in anyone’s interest.

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