Ethnic profiling a prevalent problem in Dutch police: Report

Ethnic- or racial profiling is a very prevalent problem among Dutch police officers and the police forces are struggling to address it, according to internal police reports in the hands of Brandpunt reporter, Joop reports.

In the Oost-Brabant unit alone 20 percent of officers admitted to regularly, often or always stop and check people of certain ethnic groups because they believe these groups often commit certain types of crime. Another 41 percent admitted to doing so "sometimes". Only 14 percent said they never do it. A massive 64 percent of the officers in this unit see no problem with stopping someone based on ethnicity.

"The overall conclusion is that most of the cops in Oost-Brabant let ethnicity play a major roll and are convinced that this approach is justified", the report reads.

A study among police-officers-in-training revealed a similar picture. "I worked with a police coach who was really hunting for Moroccans. He worked in that neighborhood a long time. Of course that influences you in the beginning", one student cop said in an interview. Another said: "Appearance really influences me to check someone. Look at the briefing and statements of colleagues. It often involves Moroccans and other foreigners."

Deputy police chief Ruud Blik denies that ethnic profiling is a "structural problem" in the police, saying that it only happens "often". According to him, the force management is working on tackling this problem, but he does not have much faith that there will be success in the short term. "This is a long term process and we will really not be done next year. My contention is that it may never stop."