Police stations' access systems "super vulnerable": report

Dutch police
A sign hanging in front of a Dutch police post. April 30, 2006Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Michiel1972Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

The access control systems at police stations in the Netherlands are "super vulnerable" - access passes can easily be copied, sources told newspaper AD. 

In this way malicious parties can gain access to offices where police firearms are stored, evidence rooms, or even locker rooms where police uniforms are kept, according to the newspaper. Uniforms were previously stolen during a burglary at a police station in Haren. "It is super vulnerable", a source said to AD. "And that at a time when we know that criminal organizations want to frustrate the police."

The defects were detected by a team of experts during a check. The intention is to solve the problems as soon as possible. The Ministry of Justice and Security announced on Monday that it is making 19 million euros available to improve security at police stations. According to the newspaper, this is the reason why.

Not all police stations have the same security system. In some stations the access system is out of date, Rob den Besten of the police's central works council said to AD. "The advantage of the accelerated withdrawal of money for security is that we can get to one system."

Gerrit van de Kamp, of police union ACP, called the situation 'worrisome'. He thinks that European tender rules should be ignored so that the access security can be fixed immediately. "We must be able to respond immediately to imminent danger. The technology is constantly changing, we have to arrange as soon as possible that we change with it."

A spokesperson for the police told AD that they "never make announcements" about specific security measures. But he added that the expert team's conclusions did not come as a surprise. "We were already looking at what is needed to improve access security. We have already taken measures."