Dutch police received 43 ethnic profiling complaints last year

Dutch police officer
Dutch police officer. (Photo: Joeppoulssen/DepositPhotos)

Last year the police received 43 complaints from citizens who felt that they were ethnically profiled - targeted based on their ethnicity or skin color - by a police officer. That is three fewer complaints than in 2017, the police said in a statement. 

"It is important that people who have an unpleasant experience with the police report this", Lute Nieuwerth, manager of the Power of Difference portfolio at the police, said. "We are a learning organization, so those complaints help us to do better next time. Our complaints procedure is aimed at restoring citizens' trust in the police and at learning from citizens' signals about how services can be improved."

The police's complaints procedure involves bringing the citizen who filed the complaint and the police officer involved together for a conversation. If the issue can not be resolved in this first phase, phase two involves an independent complaints committee talking to both parties. The committee then advises the police chief on how to settle the complaint.

Last year 25 complaints were settled in the first phase. Of these, 16 complaints were found to be unfounded and one was justified. In 8 cases no conclusion could be made. One complaint was assessed as unfounded by the police chief after advice from the complaints committee. Ten complaints were not dealt with for various reasons, such as the police being unable to make contact with the complainant, or the complaint being withdrawn. Three complaints are still pending in the first phase, and four in the second phase. 

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