Stalking expert Nico van den Dries

Nico van den Dries

Stalking expert Nico van den Dries

Countless people are victims of stalking every year. It is known that about 7% of the men and 15% of the women will be a victim of stalking.. It is also known that stalking mainly occurs in people who have to deal with ending a relationship, this can be a love relationship, but also work-related or otherwise.

Stalking is more than twice as common among teens and twenties who are looking for a love affair and are more or less experimenting with starting or ending relationships than among other age categories. Even more often people in social professions are victims of the stalkingpartly because a care relationship can be misinterpreted by clients or patients and partly because clients or patients do not accept leaving a professional relationship. Another interesting fact is that Dutch research among famous persons such as politicians, artists and administrators has shown that 33% was sometimes stalked.

Nico van den Dries

stalking expert - Nico van den DriesWith a background at the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and social assistance investigation in Amsterdam, works Nico as a private investigator for detective agency Strongwood since 1997, especially in certain specialties such as international child abduction, stalking, blackmail and cybercrime cases. In addition to a long and solid work experience in various studies, he also has a CECI (Certified Expert in Cyber Investigations), he is a certified behavioral expert and has a master's in micro-expressions and a bachelor's in law. The fame within the field and the government had been there for a number of years, he became known to the wider public for various TV-related activities, of which the program specifically for this subject of course Zeeman Confronts and for this Gestalkt. 'I experience many cases of Stalking every year and really every case is completely different and unique in its kind. At least it seems to get more and worse every year. I see this not only in the TV program, but also in the various requests that we receive. I can't even call it “requests”, because they are often very emotional cries for help. The police really do their best, but often they just can't do much and cases are referred to us. '

Eric Blaauw

Stalking expert Eric BlaauwEric Blaauw is a well-known sparring partner of Nico and works as a lecturer in Addiction Science and Forensic Care at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. He is also connected to VNN as a forensic mental health psychologist. For years he conducted a lot of research in the field of stalking, suicides, psychopathology and psychopathy among detainees, detainees, TBS detainees and addicts. 'The average duration of stalking is four years', 'Research shows that it often only stops when circumstances change. For example if someone has gotten a new partner or a job, while there was no work before '. What makes it difficult for the police is that there is not one type of stalker. Specialist knowledge is needed to choose the right approach. Not all stalkers have bad intentions. Some often approach someone out of love. This can be perceived as stalking, but it is not dangerous. It's different when an ex-partner wants to get even, like Bekir E. on his ex-girlfriend Humeyra. 'He cannot accept that the relationship is over. You see many character disorders among this group. '

Thijs Zeeman

Stalking expert Thijs ZeemanWhile Nico is the 'research brain' behind 'Zeeman Confronteert', Thijs is now the presenter of the TV program. As a crime reporter, he has made a clear mark on this topic and is fighting to stop stalking. It is demonstrable that the vast majority (over 90%) of the stalkers from the program immediately stopped his activities after a confrontation with Thijs. 'The victim can often start a new life again.' The program Gestalkt and Zeeman Confronteert mainly originated because the police know too little about stalking and through this program at least contributes to the solution, namely the stop stalking.

Stalking backgrounds

Stalking has been around for as long as humanity has existed. Stalking often involves violent emotions of an offender towards a victim, these emotions usually arising from a change in the relationship between the two that is undesirable for the offender and where the offender is unable or unwilling to accept the relational change. This includes not only a love relationship, but also a care relationship or work relationship. The emotions can then consist of intense sadness and loneliness, and be accompanied by the desire to restore the relationship, making it desirable to maintain contact with the person who brought about the change in the relationship. The emotions can also consist of intense anger, resentment and hatred with a desire to take revenge on the cause of these feelings.

In a small proportion of the cases, the stalker does not so much show strong emotions as sadistic characteristics with an accompanying desire to dominate and destroy a victim. It is likely that this type of stalker is much more common in radio, television and film celebrities and rare in regular stalking.

Corporate stalking on the rise

he emergence of multimedia such as websites, LinkedIN, Facebook and Twitter have contributed to the increasing awareness of, for example, company directors. The risk of drivers becoming victims of stalking has also increased, as research shows that there is a clear relationship between the number of public appearances and the risk of stalking. This part is also common corporate stalking mentioned.

To a large extent, the high risk of corporate stalking is reflected in the social face that most directors have received in recent years. Management magazines often contain descriptions of the hobbies and family life of the directors and in the organizations it has become customary in company magazines to include the social face of the directors. In meetings and speeches of directors, directors today often tell personal stories and share personal experiences with employees, partly due to the increased emphasis on social leadership styles. In addition, a horizontal or bottom-up approach with the involvement of many employees in the decision-making process has become more popular in decision-making. As a result, there is often more personal contact and a smaller distance between directors and their employees. It is precisely this that increases the risk of stalking when the relationship between the driver and the employee suddenly changes. This relationship naturally changes when a director decides to dismiss someone, but can also change when a director makes decisions that are not appreciated by everyone.

Perpetrators and their behavior

Most of the behaviors are mainly sending letters, emails, apps, text messages and making phone calls. Threats can also be expressed in nearly half of the cases. What is shocking is that the stalking usually lasts for years with weekly or monthly attacks that can sometimes stop for a while. Logically, this leads to stress for most victims and there can also be despair and fear for the future. In addition, feelings of shame often occur against family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, supervisors and employees, as a result of which the search for help is often limited or often not done for fear of this shame.

Nico van den Dries: Most behaviors can be classified in a model, I will only mention a marathon as an example, the behaviors often start as mentioned above and can be classified in the first 30 kilometers. The last part is therefore often the toughest and often manifests itself by serious facts such as attacking, following, setting cars on fire, damage to property, terrifying on a physical basis and even in extreme cases physical violence to the victim at the finish. of the marathon. The objective in stopping stalking is of course to ensure that the perpetrator does not reach the finish line.

Eric Blaauw: In the case of regular stalking, a perpetrator is often known or at least a suspicion of who it is. In the case of stalking of famous people, politicians and corporate stalking, it is often unknown who the perpetrator is. This is probably mainly because some of the perpetrators are not so much focused on the person himself, but more on his / her views or policy. Understandably, victims of an unknown perpetrator often develop paranoid feelings, because almost anyone can be the perpetrator and it is unknown who can still be trusted when confidential information ends up on the street.

Based on Dutch and German research among famous persons, it can be assumed that about one third of the stalkers of famous persons have a psychiatric disorder with clear delusions. Probably a higher percentage has a personality disorder such as narcissism, an inflated sense of self, sensitivity to abandonment or instability of mood. In this group there is often an overreaction to injury and impulsivity.

Thijs Zeeman: What I have seen in recent years is that stalking is getting worse, the registrations more and things more diverse. The police certainly take matters seriously, but often cannot do anything or simply do not have the knowledge and manpower to do so. Through the program we help the victims by confronting the perpetrator on screen, this often has the necessary stop effect and in some cases the research that we do contributes to the police file and something can be actively done.

What can be done about stalking?

In the case of corporate stalking by an unknown offender, it is important that an investigation is carried out into who the offender is. That can be done by the police or one specialized detective agency such as Strongwood. When analyzing all stalking cases, it is important to consider the duration, content and diversity of the stalking behaviors, the characteristics of the perpetrator with regard to psychopathology and motives, the identified victims and the impact of the stalking on the victims. . Based on this, an analysis must be made of the various options for stopping the stalking and a careful choice must be made from the options.

In addition, very serious stalking behaviors often require immediate and far-reaching intervention, while less serious behaviors allow for a more gradual and less far-reaching approach.

Furthermore, characteristics of the perpetrator may in some cases require an approach with a report to the police and a request for a contact ban, and in other cases only a very strong judicial approach yields results or the threat of a judicial approach is more important or the threat that the stalker's behavior will be made public. Because of the many combinations of stalking, perpetrator and victim characteristics, the approach to stalking is often tailor-made.

Stalking (referred to in law as 'harassment') is a crime. Since 2000, the Netherlands has had a special anti-stalking law. It is intended to target stalkers. Just like defamation or threats, stalking is a so-called 'criminal offense'. This means that there will be no prosecution against a stalker unless the victim has reported it. Although it often seems like a minor offense, it can have a significant impact on the life of the victim. The legislator therefore has one hefty maximum penalties for stalking given: maximum imprisonment of 3 years or a fine of the fourth category (19,500 euros) and often much more in the case of recidivism. So there are legal options.

In practice, it often turns out that understaffing and lack of knowledge is a problem at the Police. Some stalkers often play it in such a way that there is almost no evidence to obtain in a simple way, which only increases the investigation duration and thus worsens until it is finally too late. It is also seen that there is not 1 declaration and 1 file, but often an accumulation of several reports of several facts, sometimes even spread over several files, departments and investigators. In fact, there should be more structure and a fixed point of contact, in addition to practical matters such as coordination with the Public Prosecution Service.

A victim often cannot escape recording a lot and gathering evidence, which is often not done or recorded in the right way.

A program like Zeeman confronts: In addition to a program on television, Stalkers has actually also become a necessity. Although they often only solve 12 cases a year, it at least brings the theme to the map every time and that is much needed.

Within Strongwood has been around for years a fixed working method, which of course is also used in 'Gestalkt', in recording evidence, finding and recording the perpetrator and handing over the file to the police. Working together with the police to achieve the same goal is the approach. The problem often lies in the costs of an investigation, which not every victim can afford just like that. In the background, we are still working hard on a solution to overcome this problem and to finance it, for example, by means of collection / donations or a repayment scheme.

Stalking Task Force

In America, among others, they have been working with a Stalking Task Force. Nico van den Dries indicates that this concept could be a significant step in the right direction nationally in the Netherlands and is in favor of setting it up in the Netherlands. Inventory discussions with the Police are expected and put into operation in the coming period. The big advantage of this is that there are quickly and effectively action can be taken when a victim raises the alarm.

Do you have questions about this topic? Do you need advice regarding stalking? Have you become a victim and do you want this to end now? Then contact Strongwood private investigator. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Season 3 of 'Zeeman Confronteert' can be seen on RTL5 in the spring of 2022, the other seasons are on video land.

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