Rotterdam gives more enforcers extra investigative powers

Rotterdam will give more of its Stadbeheer enforcement officers extra investigative powers to tackle nuisance on the streets. These special enforcement officers will be allowed to issue fines for 10 criminal offenses, mainly focused on nuisance, NOS reports.

Currently around 40 Rotterdam enforcers already have these powers. The municipality will now train another 80 enforcers to also write tickets. The expectation is that they can be used from May 1st.

According to alderman Bert Wijbenga, one advantage of giving enforcers more investigative powers is that they can relieve the police. "The police will get more capacity for other things that we also find important", he said to NOS. The enforcers will be directed by the city hall. "Together with the mayor we'll discuss strategy and deployment."

Wijbenga added that the enforcers will not become a new kind of municipal police. "The police have their own tasks and their own authorities and priorities. If there is violence or complicated detective work, then there is the police. When it concerns the quality of life in the Rotterdam neighborhood, we have Stadbeheer with its enforcers." The enforcers will also cooperate closely with the police - they will attend police briefings, and the police will be there to support enforcers should they need help. 

The Rotterdam enforcers will not receive extra weapons, like enforcers in Amsterdam recently demanded. The Amsterdam enforcers wanted to be armed with batons and pepper spray, but both the police and mayor Femke Halsema decided against it. Halsema did decide to equip the enforcers with bodycams, something enforcers in Rotterdam already have. "In practice we find that the bodycams they're already wearing support their safety well", Wijbenga said to NOS. "You have to be really crazy if you use violence against these people because everything is recorded."