European RoyalsThe Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander visits psychiatric clinics alongside the Minister for Legal Protection


Photo: Moniek Bloks/Royal Central

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands visited the Oostvaarderskliniek and the Pieter Baan Centrum in Almere alongside Sander Dekker, the Minister for Legal Protection.

The Oostvaarderskliniek is a forensic psychiatric centre which treats patients that have been ordered by a judge to be detained under hospital orders (terbeschikkingstelling or tbs). This usually means that the patients have psychiatric problems or are addicted, and they have committed a serious crime due to this. The tbs treatment is intended to help them eventually return to society and, during their treatment, they are in a closed and secure environment.

The King and the Minister spoke with employees, representatives of those living around the clinics and experts with regard to leave from clinics. The King toured the Oostervaarderskliniek and visited the workshop where patients can be educated and receive advice about working outside the clinic. In the fitness area, the King met a patient who is also being trained as a sports instructor.

The Pieter Baan Centrum (PBC) is a psychiatric observation clinic which is part of the Ministry of Justice and Security. People who have convicted of a crime or are suspects in a serious crime can undergo a psychiatric evaluation there, on the orders of a judge. This can often be difficult if the suspects refuse to cooperate and there’s a special department for them within the PBC.

In the PBS, the King and the Minister visited the special department, and the King also met a patient who refuses to cooperate.

This visit was the tenth in a series of working visits of the King alongside Ministers and State Secretaries. The clinics were recently in the news when Michael P., a patient who was often granted leave, raped and murdered the 25-year-old Anne Faber.