There has been a sharp drop in the number of autopsies performed in the Netherlands and this could mean officials are failing to spot murders, according to the Dutch forensic institute NFI.
In 2005, 617 post mortem investigations were carried out but the total fell to just 279 last year.
The drop is partly due to a downturn in the number of deaths which are obviously the result of a criminal act, the NFI said.
However, there has also been a reduction in the number of post mortems on bodies where there are doubts about the cause of death. This could mean that 20 to 25 murders have gone undetected, the NFI said.
Justice minister Ard van der Steur has described the NFI’s findings as worrying. He has now set up a special task force to look at what measures need to be taken to make sure post mortem investigations are carried out when necessary.
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