In Holland any thing goes, but nothing is allowed. This might sound strange, but in Holland crime is dealt with very softly, even violent crimes like robbery. Even rape can be punished with community service. It’ s quite normal that media and police speaks about ‘known criminals’ or ‘serial offenders’. These terms need no explanation to the Dutch public. It’s that unsolvable problem of people who ignore the law and nothing can be done about it. Even if such a ‘serial offender’ comes for the 100th time before the courts, as actually a newspaper has reported, nothing can be done. Even for the 100th criminal offense, no extra sever punishment is given by the Dutch judges. Let’s try community service again!
But on the other hand, if a law abiding victim defends him selves, he has a very high risk, to run into trouble with ‘the law’. Any violence in defense is always directly turned around and named “taking the law in your own hands”. It a big sin, because every body knows how dear our civil society is! This kind of irresponsible acts could break down our civil law based society! Save the law!
Thus shop owners who go after violent shoplifters or beat down robbers have a serious problem. So have people who at night beat down a burglar in their own house. And let’s just hope the burglar does not slip from you’re stairs with you’re big flat screen in his hands. He might fall and sue you! Let alone, if you would declare that you stopped him running away with you’re flat screen. Just don’t do it, the police will come after you. They will release the robber and keep you in jail. Because in Holland the victim is only allowed to use proportional violence, and that is defined as you have to be wounded much more than the criminal and even then…
Thus when woman named Germaine, in 2005 was sitting in her car when a robber opened a door and grabbed her bag, she had no right to go after that criminal. But she did. Instantly she put the car in reverse and drove after Ali el Bejjati who had stolen her bag. Only 50 meters later the motor cycle of the robbers had crashed into a tree and she crashed into one of them. Ali died. Ali by the way, just came from the courthouse, where he was, not for the first time, trailed for an armed robbery. But that did not matter, the DA directly charged Germaine for man slaughter and put her in jail. All because not Ali, but she took an unjustifiable risk. It was not for nothing, tension quickly raised high in the Amsterdam Muslim community. It was unacceptable, unjust and racist (although the robbery victim is a black woman).
Now three years after the robbery, Germaine still lives in hiding, afraid for her Muslim attackers. She keeps changing hiding places, but each time, they track her down. Of course the government does nothing to protect her. Instead they still want to trial her for man slaughter for her alleged reckless driving. And when she did not personally appeared before the court, something that normally is not mandatory, the judges forced her to attend her own trial. This was a major issue for the government. And when she did not appear, they tracked her down and took her from her secret hiding place to put her in jail. During the trial, the DA asked for two and half year imprisonment as punishment for the deadly accident during the pursuit of serial robber Ali.
The 6th of March the Dutch judge will rule.
Update:Dutch readers can read more about Germaine her situation here.