Corrupt security cop got position on Wilders team despite previous integrity conviction: report
How suspected corrupt police officer Faris K. managed to get a job in the high ranking Safety and Security Service despite a previous integrity conviction, is leading to consternation in the police ranks. Considering the screening process necessary to join the Safety and Security Service, former Geert Wilders security guard Rico Briedjal thinks it was difficult, but possible, he said to newspaper AD Members of the Service are calling for stricter screenings.
Faris K. advanced to the elite Safety and Security Service in 2013. He worked as part of the Wilders team, though not as one of Wilders actual body guards. K. worked as a "scout" and was responsible for assessing the risks around places Wilders was set to visit. This included analyzing the places, checking possible escape routes and routes to nearby safe houses.
To get this job, K. had to undergo a so-called P-screening done by the Department of Safety, Integrity and Complaints under the supervision of intelligence service AIVD. It seems impossible that he made it through this screening, given the fact that he was convicted for leaking police information in 2008. But according to former Wilders guard Briedjal, this often comes down to a personal assessment by the person doing the screening.
The "nature and gravity of the offense" and the age of the person when he committed the offense are taken into account, Briedjal said to AD. "It is a question of proportionality" he said. "I think he should not have been allowed to continue working for the police, but according to the letter of the screening the AIVD can give someone like him consent."
The P-screening involves a number of aspects, including discussions with one or more references. "In such a case it is much more up to the investigator how far that goes", Briedjal said. "The field research is limited. Even if the threshold should be higher in my opinion."
Members of the Safety and Security Service are also calling for more intense screenings before people are allowed to join in future, police union NPB said, according to NU.nl. According to chairman Jan Struijs, the "bar must be higher" because leaks also put other employees of the service in danger. In response to Faris K. leaking information, the police decided to re-check all current members of the service. The current members were also asked how the screening can be improved.
In practice the Safety and Security Service has trouble finding enough candidates, sources said to AD. Those who eventually want to reach the post of personal body guard have to undergo 16 weeks of physical and psychological tests, screening and a training period. All in all this takes about a year, according to the newspaper.