Police: continued cuts a threat to national security

The safety of the Dutch society and police officers themselves will be put in danger if any further cuts are made to the National Police. More cutbacks will make a number of police activities impossible to perform.

This is according to Frank Giltay, chairman of the police's Central Works Council, in an interview with BNR on Monday. Leaked documents for Budget Day shows that there are a number of windfalls to distribute, but the police are missing out. More cutbacks are planned for the National Police. Giltay used a 6 million euro a year cut to police overtime as an example. "That means that you have to take police officers off the streets", he said.

If the cutbacks go through, the police will no longer be able to carry out all its activities, according to Giltay. "That could lead to radical decisions. Large investigations into criminal organizations, for example, cost much time and money, if we can no longer afford that, it would have to be put to a stop."

According to Giltay, Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice is handicapping the police in this way. "We are also now calling on the cabinet", Giltay said. "Because Minister Van der Steur also has to work with the budget he has been given. With it the cabinet has set the minister an impossible task."

Van der Steur recently announced that the police reorganization to the National Police will take another two years and that the extra money needed for that will come out of the police's own budget.

D66 parliamentarian Magda Berndsen, who was part of the recent debate about the police reorganization and cutbacks, is also very pessimistic. "We are talking about 500 million euros in cutbacks that have already been logged. Then there is the extra 230 million euros in additional costs for the reorganization and that has to come out of the police budget.", she said to BNR, adding that the Minister is taking a mortgage on the future. "If this cabinet and this minister now say that our safety is in good hands with them, that first has to be proven. I see that less and less. At his appointment Van der Steur should immediately have said that there is a large financial problem. The coalition parties should now really have to do something."

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