An extra 500 cops needed for Amsterdam as city population swells

Police. (Politie)

The Amsterdam police force needs at least another 500 officers in order to accommodate the city's growth, police chief Pieter-Jaap Albersberg said in the AT5 program Het Verhoor. According to him, the current police force, about 5,000 officers since 2011, is drowning in the work. "The force is built on 800,000 Amsterdam residents, while there are currently nearly 1.5 million on a daily basis", Aalbersberg said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. 

According to the Amsterdam police chief, the city's police force invested heavily in reducing serious crimes like muggings and burglaries as well as into the Top 600 approach. "On these parts Amsterdam is visibly safer." But it has meant making choices - not everything can be picked up. "Sometimes you can not do things", he said. "Even neighborhood teams can't pick up everything. Sometimes there is a case that has a perpetrator lead, but we must still let it lie. We are sometimes forced to not do things in the city, and that's not good."

While tracking down the Top 600 criminals and investigations into radicalizations and assassinations are important, enforcement work is at least as important, Aalbersberg said. And for the Amsterdam police to manage both, extra officers are needed. "The authority of the police rests in enforcement, not investigation."