Results questionnaire: Judicial reaction

The results from the questionnaire show that mental health professionals  often become a victim of violent incidents caused by patients. The total number of reported violent incidents was 2648. More than a quarter of these incidents had been reported to the police (704). Few of the reported cases (69) that had been reported were (as far as the victims knows) brought into court. In 45 cases the victim was aware of the court’s decision. The criminal judge relatively often holds the offender (partly) accountable for the offence. In general, victims are poorly informed about their case.

What happened to the reported incidents?
Three quarters of the 2648 incidents have not been reported to the police. 704 respondents did report the incident to the police: In 349 cases the police made an official report, 137 times the police made a registration, 167 victims didn’t know if the police made an official report or not and in 37 times, the police didn’t investigate the incident.        

Heard anything after reporting?
In half of the cases that were reported to the police, the victim didn’t know how the incident was handled by the judicial authorities. Victims were not informed. In 85 cases the victim knew that the case was dismissed. If there was any further investigation (according to the victims knowledge), in most of the cases the offender was interrogated by the police (119 times). In a few cases there has been a psychiatric examination of the offender (34 times).

A total of 69 cases were brought into court. In 45 cases the victim was aware of the court’s decision. The criminal judge imposed punitive sanctions (for example imprisonment) as well as measures (for example forced treatment in a high security forensic psychiatric hospital). Relatively often the criminal judge imposed a punitive sanction, this means that the judge regards the offender (partly) responsible for the offence.

Violent incident – Verdict
1534 Mental health professionals filled in the questionnaire. 67 Percent reported that they  were victims of a total of 2648 violent incidents in the past five years. Respondents reported over a quarter of these incidents (704) to the police. Eventually, 69 cases were brought into court (for as far as the victims was informed about this). In 45 cases the victim had knowledge of the court’s decision.

For more information about the judicial reaction (factsheet 3)
Results about the scope, nature and consequences of violent incidents (factsheet 1)
Results about reasons for (not) reporting the incident to the police (factsheet 2)