Quarter of new Dutch cops-in-training have non-western background

Police officers on the street
Police officers on the street. (Photo: Politie)

Of the 700 aspiring police officers who signed up at the Police Academy this year, 25 percent have a non-Western background - double compared to 2015, Peter Slort, head of diversity at the National Police, told the Volkskrant. The new figures match the police's goal to become more ethnically diverse. Currently only 7 percent of Dutch police officers have an immigration background, according to the newspaper.

According ot the Slort, the police put effort into recruiting people through social media this year, for example by working with well known non-western vloggers. The police also appointed 17 "diversity recruiters", whose job it is to encourage "colleagues in all units to recruit themselves". 

Slort emphasized that these figures aren't final yet. More people may sign up in the last months of this year, which may shift the percentages slightly. 

Police union ACP fears that this targeted recruitment will come at the expense of quality, according to NOS. The union referred to a by research institute WODC, which said that non-Western police officers are relatively often involved in serious integrity violations. 

Slort is absolutely convinced that increasing diversity will not negatively affect quality. "There is a huge increase in quality. They bring in skills we are lacking, such as their knowledge of languages, cultures and communities", he said to the newspaper.