Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Are European Laws Too Lenient?

 As a certain internet celebrity says, let's find out!

Some time ago we became victims of a cyber crime. So we went to police to report it. It took us close to 3 hours and cost my husband a free afternoon. The police were very helpful. They told us it was a serious crime with the punishment being 5 years in prison, which is quite strict by our standards. However, they said, it was not up to them to open an investigation, the decision had to be taken by the prosecutor's office. 

When I left them, I wasn't very hopeful. I had a neighbour once who moved over here from Southern Europe and her wallet was stolen, with all the documents and her debit card. The thieves emptied her bank account and later she had to go back to her country for the new documents, but the prosecutor had decided not to open an investigation, because, and here I quote the official letter she showed me, the crime was not important enough.

Well, what do you think? Our crime was apparently more important as about a week later we got a letter informing us that the investigation was started and that we would be notified of its progress. However. Several days later another letter came. The department higher up decided that the investigation should not proceed because reasons. Luckily, we got restitution from the insurance.

So here you have it. Our laws are reasonably strict. 5 years is quite a bit for fraud, but it could be death penalty for all I know and it wouldn't make any difference, if you refuse to investigate and prosecute the crimes. Pretty much the only thing which gets investigated is assault and murder (attempt). The laws are used very selectively, often depending on who the victim is. We call it class justice if you know what I mean:)

It's by design, too. There is some sort of gentlemen's agreement not to enforce the existing laws. I believe such a system is called anarcho-tyranny...


  1. Your assessment sounds about right. It's the same over here. Average Joe or Jane get no justice or investigation unless there is grave bodily injury.

  2. Elspeth, here many people think that justice still exists in the USA, what a disappointment to hear that it's basically the same...

  3. Anarcho-tyranny is right. In the US, it depends largely on location, as some of the more sane locales have sheriffs, police chiefs and DAs who are still willing to fight crime and do not pretend that criminals are the real victims. If you're in a big city... forget it. The authorities have completely abrogated any sense of responsibility to their citizens. San Francisco, I'm told, is a feces-strewn thieves' paradise now.

    I read on a blog recently a rather prescient point on this, that China has first-world cities on its east coast, but a miserable third-world rural countryside. The US is still largely first world in the countryside and small municipalities, but the big cities are now third world trash heaps.

  4. Oh yes, here it is also often dependent on location. In our city, for instance, the enforcement of many rules is practically non-existent, outside of parking fines that is. Enfin, I shouldn't complain, I guess, because corona rules weren't strictly enforced, either...