Police shooting ranges unsafe, union says

A police officer aiming his service weapon
A police officer aiming his service weaponPhoto: Politie

Police union ACP is seriously concerned about the safety of various shooting ranges the police use for training. The union recently learned that a bullet bounced back and hit a police officer's hearing protection at the shooting range in Sevenum, Limburg and problems resulted in the closure of ranges in Den Bosch and Kerkrade, according to the union, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to the union, the police leadership hasn't given a proper explanation about the problems at these shooting ranges.

A message on the police intranet states that two of the three ranges in Sevenum have been reopened after "maintenance and checks". But ACP received no information about exactly how it was established that these ranges are safe to use again. "As ACP we believe that colleagues are entitled to this information. In the end it is about their safety."

The shooting range in Den Bosch is still closed due to poor quality and capacity, according to the union. ACP requested an explanation from the National Police.

The incident in Sevenum was caused by a bullet bouncing off hardened sand on the range's bullet trap, ACP said. The top layer of sand is regularly turned over, but that doesn't happen deeply enough and not all bullets are caught, according to the union. Police officers warned their team chief about this. "Nothing seems to have been done with that advice", the union said.