200 new cops to address problems at forensic department: report

Forensic investigators at the scene of a murder
Forensic investigators at the scene of a murderPhoto: Politie

The police plan to address problems at its forensic investigation department caused by staff shortages and outdated tech at the root - by hiring 200 new police officers and investing in new technology, AD reports.

On Wednesday evening, police union NPB sent a letter to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security sounding the alarm about problems with forensic investigation. Absenteeism increased by over 9 percent in the past five years and there are far too few employees to handle the workload, the union wrote. Due to the aging population, hundreds of experienced forensic investigators, responsible for securing trace evidence at crime scenes, are leaving the department in the coming years.

To solve these staff shortages, the police will hire and train 200 new police officers at a rapid pace, according to AD. While forensic training usually takes year, Ruud Staijen of the forensic investigation department does not think that quick training is impossible. "It is a challenge to train people quickly and well", he said to the newspaper. "Also because working in forensic investigation is quite difficult. You go from crime scene to crime scene, it's not a 9-to-5 job. You have to be tough." A challenge, but not impossible.

The police will also invest in new technology for the forensic department. In the coming period, there will be experiments with new tech that will make results available faster and reduce administrative tasks. Employees will also be given laptops, so that they can already enter investigation results at the crime scene.