Anti-ethnic profiling org. critical of Dutch police's 'predominantly white' youth advice council

The first meeting of the Dutch police's new youth council, 16 April 2018
The first meeting of the Dutch police's new youth council, 16 April 2018. Photo: Politie

Earlier this week the Dutch police announced that it established a youth council, which will give the police a young person's perspective on important social issues. The first topic up for discussion was discrimination. But Control Alt Delete, an organization that fights against racial profiling, wonders to what extent the 16 "predominantly white" young people on the youth council can advise the police based on their experiences with this topic.

"In order to counter the image of a white youth council: the Dutch police explicitly underlines that two of the sixteen youngsters in the advisory board have a non-Western migration background." Control Alt Delete writes on its site. "However looking at the published pictures: we see a group of youngsters who don’t represent the people that come (un)justified into contact with the police on a regular basis. To what extent can this group of young people provide the police with advice based on experience?"

The new youth council had their first meeting on Monday. The topic on discussion was "acting impartially", the police said in a statement on its site. According to the police, this was the advice that came out of the first meeting: "Officers have to get out of the car. Make smalltalk. Come to class to tell about their experiences. Kick a ball with us when we are playing football, even if it is only five minutes. In this way they win the trust of young people."

According to Control Alt Delete, the "hundreds of youngsters" the organization talked to often complain about the police making smalltalk with them, because it feels like an unjustified police check. "Further the advice that the youth council gave is not the core of the problem of racial profiling", the organization said. "It's much more than that. The police are aware of this and used the press release and the youth council as a good publicity stunt."

The police selected the 16 young people on the youth council from over 500 young people who applied for a position thereon. According to police officer Liesbeth Huyzer, it is important to get young people's perspective on things, because they think differently than adults. "For example, I wonder how young people view the future. In what kind of society will we live in ten years? What do they want form the police? And what does our work look like then?" she said in the police statement. 

The first meeting of the Dutch police's new youth council, 16 April 2018
The first meeting of the Dutch police's new youth council, 16 April 2018. Photo: Politie

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