Too few police in Netherlands for EU Presidency, say mayors

Mayors in the Netherlands are worried about a police shortage during the Dutch presidency of the European Union in the first half of next year, Bernt Schneiders, mayor of Haarlem and chairman of the Association of Dutch Mayors, said to BNR on Monday.

In the first half of next year extra security will be needed for more than 20 European meetings in Amsterdam. The mayors are concerned that this extra security will tax the police capacity so much that there will be no police officers available to deploy to other "important issues", Schneiders said. According to him, the same thing happened during the nuclear security summit in the Netherlands last year.

"We're a little worried that this is going to happen again. You will find that at some point the municipalities are informed that the summit consts so much capacity that no more people are available, which means for example, that no other events can be organized, which are often also very important for the municipalities", the Haarlem mayor said to the broadcaster.

The mayors are therefore calling on Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice to pay deployed officers in extra money instead of extra time off. "If you pay officers in free time it is actually like a double attack on the police capacity. And that is the usual state of affairs. So my plea is to pay them money so they can simply remain available for all other tasks in all other municipalities."