Thousands of violent incidents against police; "Unacceptable", police chief, Minister say

Arrest (Photo: Politie) policeArrest (Photo: Politie)

In the first half of this year, the Dutch police registered 5,113 cases of aggression and violence against police officers. These figures are usually released on an annual basis, but the police decided to release provisional figures at the media's request after four cops were injured during arrests in Rotterdam over the weekend, NOS reports. 

The police divide the reports of aggression and violence against police officers into over 30 sections. The insult section got 2,080 reports in the first half of 2019. Police officers were threatened, both verbally and physically, a total of 672 times. There were 51 reports of attempted manslaughter, two of attempted murder, eight of assault, and 25 of aggravated assault.

The Den Haag police unit saw the largest number of incidents at 851, followed by Rotterdam at 808 and Oost-Nederland at 792. Amsterdam had 315 violent incidents.

This is unacceptable and enough is enough, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said with the presentation of the figures. "A lot of prevention is being done", he said. "But in the end it comes down to  limiting it and not only sticking to words, but also taking action. Because violence is not acceptable."

In a letter to parliament, Minster Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security called violence against police officers "totally unacceptable". He will meet with the police chiefs and the Public Prosecution Service "in the foreseeable future" to discuss what additional measures can be taken.

After the incidents in Rotterdam this weekend, police union ACP called for harsher punishments for people who threaten or injure cops and other first responders. If ACP chairman Erwin Koenen has his way, these offenders will always be sentenced to prison, instead of the current norm of community service.