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I had done nothing criminal but they took me in on suspicion, with my

hands cuffed behind my back. I felt terribly humiliated. At the police sta-

tion I was terrified, I thought they were going to do something to me.The

policeman who searched me said:‘If you go on being so afraid I’ll really

do something.’ In the cell I heard the policemen laughing and I was panic

stricken. I was so frightened that I fell on my knees and prayed to God to

get me out. Unbelievable that they arrested me for no reason. It’s pure


Observations (in the Netherlands)

The police can take you to the police station if you behave in a dangerous way or

are suspected of a criminal act, even if you haven’t done anything illegal.At the police

station you are searched, you have to hand in your possessions and you can be shut

up in a cell.They can keep you there for a maximum of 6 hours. If they want to detain

you longer they must get a court order.

People who behave strangely are often locked up ‘on suspicion.’ If this upsets you, it

can be useful to take someone you trust with you for a talk with the local community

police officer.You can arrange that the police (or even better the neighbours) first

contact your confidential counsellor (Am. patient’s advocate), if they think you are not

behaving properly.You can also see if there is a crisis card project active in your area.

NB.Your local community police officer only works during office hours.This means it

can be difficult to make an appointment with the police out of office hours.

Your surroundings