In the corona year 2020, the judge handled almost 66,000 criminal cases, 23 percent less than a year earlier. Due to the COVID-19 measures, courts were partially and temporarily closed. Fewer people were summoned and the police delivered fewer cases.
The decrease in the number of verdicts was – apart from the corona vicissitudes – a conscious choice by the Public Prosecution Service and the judiciary, according to the report ‘Criminality and law enforcement’ by the police, the judiciary, the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Statistics (CBS).
The stock of criminal cases for hearings in court has grown rapidly in recent decades. So since the introduction of the Public Prosecution Service Act (2008) it has been possible for the Public Prosecution Service to impose punishment orders. A successfully executed criminal order no longer goes to court.
Guilty nine times out of ten
In about nine out of ten of the nearly 66,000 criminal cases, the judge pronounced a guilty verdict last year. That figure has been roughly the same for years. One in ten was acquitted. In 2020, imprisonment was the most frequently imposed main sentence, followed by community service and a fine.
Last year, 89 percent of all people tried were men, 10 percent were women and less than 1 percent were legal entities (a company or institution). In 2020, 6 percent of all people tried were minors.
Most of the felony cases dealt with by the judge last year were property crimes (24,000), violent and sexual crimes (13,000) and traffic offenses (12,000) such as drink-driving.
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