Dutch police to improve crisis deployment; inexperienced officers used in MH17 disaster

Investigators in the Ukraine - MH17 (Picture: Ministry of Security and Justice). Investigators in the Ukraine - MH17 (Picture: Ministry of Security and Justice)

The National Police wants to improve the manner in which it selects officers deployed to crisis situations, according to an internal assessment by the police about the MH17 disaster newspaper AD got hold of. Some of the police officers put on the MH17 case were too inexperienced or turned out not to be suitable for work in a disaster area, the assessment said, according to the newspaper.

Immediately after flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014, the Dutch police established the large-scale and special action team SGBO. Dozens of police officers were sent to the Ukraine to search for human remains, personal possessions and evidence. 

"When dealing with the MH17 disaster, colleagues were sometimes asked to take a place in the SGBO or to travel to Ukraine on availability", the report states, according to AD. This is because many officers were on summer holidays at the time. "It was not always checked whether people have the right properties needed for such a situation and whether they fit within the team."

"People had to come from far and wide. Even community officers - who has no experience with a major crisis - were deployed." police spokesperson Thomas Aling added. "There was no folder with names of people we know would do well. That must be better next time."

When deploying people to deal with future disasters, the police will look at officers' capabilities, experience and also whether he or she is psychologically equipped to deal with the situation.