Over 200 police stations to be closed

Amsterdam police
A police flex squad supporting crowd control in Amsterdam. Feb. 18, 2010Jos van ZettenFlickrCC-BY

Because more and more people report crimes over the internet, about half of all full-fledged police stations will close in the next ten years. Of the 400 currently operating police stations, 167 will remain, Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice wrote to the Second Chamber today.

According to the minister, police officers must provide their services outside the traditional agencies. For example, it is intended that the police will take the report of a burglary at the victim's home more often. Opstelten also expects that there will be an increase in reports made online. The reduced number of office spaces should also improve the cooperation between officers as they will be less spread out over several agencies.

The minister can't yet say which stations will be closed, as reducing the number of stations is a "gradual process". Simultaneous to the closing of the traditional police stations, about 100 large and 300 small assistance points will open, such as in a town hall.

This operation is closely linked to the introduction of the National Police, which should yield a saving of 230 million euros. The reform of the police should lead officers to spend more time on the streets.

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