Dutch top court rules police are liable in deadly mall attack

Police in the Netherlands have been held to account after they granted the shooter a gun permit

E5JFC0 Holland, Rotterdam, Kop van Zuid District, cruise terminal, highrise buildings. Cruise ship MS Rotterdam, Ocean Princess moored
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The highest court in the Netherlands has ruled that its police force is liable for damages suffered by victims of a deadly shooting in a shopping mall.

It comes after police granted a weapons permit to the shooter despite him having a history of mental illness.

On Friday the Supreme Court up held a ruling from the country's lower that the police were wrong to issue a gun license to Tristan van der Vlis because he was known to have psychological problems.

Van der Vlis shot and killed six people and injured 17 more at a shopping center in Alphen aan den Rijn on April 9, 2011, before killing himself.

In a statement the police said that the ruling "has possible consequences for how police will handle applications for weapons permits in the future".

Since the incident people applying to own a gun must undergo psychological testing and provide three references.
The number of legal weapons in the Netherlands fell to 197,357 last year – the lowest total in 12 years.