Criminals’ Union Angry about Photos of Thieves
THE HAGUE, 31/07/13 - Criminals have warned the government that it must not allow photos of suspected shop thieves to be put on the Internet.
The Union of Lawbreakers (BWO) said Tuesday that Justice State Secretary Fred Teeven must guard against the dangers and consequences of business people and citizens putting photos of suspected shop thieves online. The distribution of pictures of suspects is in violation of privacy, declares the organisation, which defends the interests of criminals and ex-criminals.
The warning was prompted by auto sector organisation Bovag and retail trade body Detailhandel Nederland’s call to Teeven on Monday to hurry up with a proposed bill to increase the opportunities for camera surveillance by private persons. Teeven has for years been working on a proposed bill that would make pictures from private security cameras more readily useable for tracking down thieves and house-breakers.
According to BWO chairman Pieter Vleeming, it is "not up to citizens but to police and judiciary to track down suspects.” Further relaxation on the deployment of cameras is “in violation of our privacy legislation and criminal law.”
The BWO was set up in 1972 as a lobby group for squatters and anarchists. Rita Verdonk, who later became integration minister, was active in the BWO during her student days, around 1980. The organisation is supported by 45 subsidised lawyers.