Amsterdam mayor reiterates call for more police officers

Police. (Politie)

The Amsterdam police need 545 extra police officers in order to effectively deal with the increasingly busy city, assassination investigations and terrorism threats, according to Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aabersberg. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan sent a letter in which Aalbersberg details the need of the Dutch capital's police force, to the government in The Hague, Het Parool reports.

Aalbersberg previously stated that theto deal with the growing pressure on the city. In his letter, he now gives specific numbers on where these officers are needed. 

Another 110 officers are needed to deal with the more than 17 million tourists that visit Amsterdam each year. Tourists are magnets for small-time criminals like pickpockets, drug dealers and scammers and the Amsterdam police is drowning in it. Helping tourists is more complicated than helping Dutch, according to the police chief. "Tourists who are victims of crime can not file a report on the internet and therefore have to come to the station. Putting the translated story on paper takes considerably more time than filing an ordinary report."

This past winter 70 officers were assigned to taking on drug dealers and pickpockets, but those officers were taken from other tasks. So another 70 officers are needed. 

The coordinated approach to crime in certain streets is also taxing on the police manpower, such as the way in which the municipality and police are fighting against illegal gambling and drug trafficking. Add to that the gaps caused by extra officers needed on large-scale investigations into assassinations, and another 175 people are needed. 

The other 190 officers are needed to fill gaps caused by increased pressure on the migration police. Despite the flow of asylum seekers dwindling, the terrorist attacks in Europe mean that the workload of these officers have not diminished. Every migrant and asylum seeker must be identified and checked. "I long suspected that the current deployment will become the new normal", Aalbersberg said.