"Too white" Dutch police losing support in multicultural community: police commissioner

Police officers on the street
Police officers on the streetPhoto: Politie

The National Police has too few police officers with a multicultural background and is therefore losing the support of the Netherlands' multicultural society, Max Daniel, police commissioner in Noord-Nederland and general commander for the National Staff Widespread Special Research team, said in an interview with the Volkskrant. 

According to Daniel, the police in its current form does not sufficiently reflect society. And the small number of multicultural officers the police does have, don't progress to senior positions often enough, he said, as a Dutch-Indian man the only officer with a non-western background in the top ranks of the Dutch police. 

He's been part of various diversity initiatives in the police. "But the police culture has never been in a position to achieve real results in the longer term", Daniel said to the Volkskrant. "Only the data on all the notes on diversity is new, the content always remains the same."

Daniel feels that the police leadership does not sufficiently feel the urgency of creating an ethnically diverse police force. "Take this discussion about ethnic profiling. It's part of our profession, but now the problem is that it is often linked to racism and ethnicity. We as an organization can cry out that it's not true, but we do not decide. It's simply experienced that way."

He denies that the Dutch police is racist. "But part of our society apparently thinks so", Daniel said to the newspaper. "That forces us to think about how we translate our intergrity and sincerity to those people."

Daniel believes that people with a multicultural background can play a major role in the police. "I'm looking for people who can explain to us why part of the society thinks they are ethnically profiled and that we are racist. People who can also tell us how you can topple the image of the police."

National Police Chief Erik Akerboom told the newspaper that he agrees with the Daniel's image of the corps. "In recent years too little has been achieved when it comes to making the police more diverse. I also see the increasing polarization of society around me. That is another reason to work more on diversity within the force", he said, adding that he will personally attend to the issue in the coming period. "Because of its great importance. There is movement now, and we are going to accelerate that motion."