Thursday 04 March 2021

Police ‘fugitive squad’ puts 200 convicts behind bars

Dutch police car close-up

Police say another 130 criminals are hiding out abroad.

A police unit set up to track down criminals on the run has helped put more than 200 convicts behind bars.

FastNL (the acronym stands for Fugitive Active Search Team) was established at the start of last year to trace and apprehend convicts who have 10 months or more of their sentence to sit out.

The team’s work has led directly to the detention of 170 people, while another 32 have been arrested by other police teams or discovered during routine checks.

‘We are satisfied with the early results of FastNL’, a spokesman for the national police unit told AD. The team has also located 130 criminals who are hiding out abroad, including 48 in countries which have no extradition arrangements with the Netherlands.

The justice ministry is due to reveal on Monday the total number of criminals who are in the community when they should be in prison. In the Netherlands, people who have been sentenced to jail are sent a letter telling them when to report to jail and thousands never turn up.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.