The courts have never taken as seriously as they do now stalking cases, or any other form of harassment. Last year, more than half of new cases dealt with by the Public Prosecutor’s Office were in the sphere, and within all districts. In 2013, three quarters of cases (76%) had been set aside. De Tijd reports this on Friday based upon figures from the Ministry of Justice, following a question from the Flemish Liberal-Conservative deputy, Carina van Cauter.
Last year, only 9,149 cases were dealt with out of a total of 18,671 new harassment cases. In 2017, the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested on 784 occasions (4%) that an investigating judge conduct a detailed judicial investigation.
However, fewer new cases are now started, given that they numbered 21,788 in 2013. Ms van Cauter, who insists on the need for prevention work in this area, stresses that prosecutions for harassment were facilitated in 2016 thanks to an alteration in the law, which no longer compels victims to formally launch a complaint.