Young people no longer go to the police station for the first minor offense

Young people who are guilty of a minor offense for the first time, such as shoplifting, no longer have to go to the police station. In a national trial, these young people will from now on first receive a verbal warning.

The new approach is intended for young people between the ages of 12 and 18 and applies only when it concerns a criminal offense of a “light and simple character”.

The arrest and detention of a minor can have a major impact on both the child and the parents, previous studies, including that of the Children’s Ombudsman. It is perceived as disproportionate and sometimes has psychological consequences for the minor.

“We have looked at how we can solve this in the best possible way without them getting rid of it just like that,” said a spokesman. The East Netherlands therefore started a trial in 2018. “In that pilot we saw that a conversation with parents and child also has an effect.”

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