Monday, March 16, 2015 - 14:34
Police fire 164 for integrity issues
A total of 164 police employees were dismissed because of integrity issues last year, the police announced today. The number of police officers involved in an internal investigation into possible integrity violations remained about the same in the past 5 years. The police dismissed 80 employees for neglect of duty last year. 57 police officers were conditionally discharged for this reason and 12 officers were fired after a conditional discharge imposed in 2012 and 2013. Five police officers decided to leave on their own after an integrity violation. "With a total of 164 (un) conditional dismissals, I notice a slight increase compared to 2013", police chief Gerard Bouman said. He also states that there is a decrease when viewed over a longer period. Most of the internal investigations focused on the specific position of the employee in question, but there were some cases of behavior being investigated in the private sphere where this behavior was affecting the image of the police. There were investigations into more than 1,300 police officers last year and only about a third of the cases actually demonstrated a norm violation. About 0.8 percent of the total number of police officers were guilty of neglect of duty in some form. According to the police, these were often isolated cases and there is no question of an identifiable trend or pattern. "The bar is set very high indeed", Bouman stressed. "Especially because the police have a role model function in society. Our job is demanding. We constantly have to make tough decisions, often under great pressure. That colleagues sometimes make wrong assumptions is obvious and I feel that it's human. But at the same time integrity simply forms the basis of policing. Therefore we actively respond to any signal of a possible breach of integrity. We take even the slightest indication seriously."