Police want 445 more officers for organized crime fight: report

Netherlands police uniform
A police officer walking the beat in Amsterdam. 5 May 2015Photo: Joeppoulssen / DepositPhotos

The police want 445 extra police officers for a Narcotics Unit aimed at tackling organized crime, is stated in provisional plans from the judiciary and police that Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is currently considering, AD reports.

The Narcotics Unit needs 100 experienced detectives, financial specialists and crime analysts in the short term. Eventually it should be expanded to 445 full-time jobs, who will work in 10 teams, together with the Tax Authority, Customs, FIOD, and other authorities. 

According to the police,  there is currently a lack of resources and time to detect and arrest criminal leaders. This Narcotics Unit can help address that. One of its goals will also be to form a better picture of crime in South America, from where many thousands of kilos of cocaine are shipped to the Netherlands every year. The police want more information from that region, in order to respond more quickly to developments and threats.

This new team will initially cost 100 million euros per year, eventually running up to 300 million euros per year. The police and judiciary are still in negotiations with Grapperhaus about extra funds, sources involved said to AD. If there is no extra money, the costs of the plan will likely come at the expense of capacity in other teams, police unions said to the newspaper. 

The plan is a response to the murder of defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam last week. The investigators currently assume that he was gunned down because he was representing Nabil B., a crime suspect turned informant. Over the past year B. has given multiple statements about the drug-centered criminal organization allegedly led by fugitive Ridouan Taghi. He linked Taghi and his gang to at least 9 separate murders, as well as a string of attempted assassinations and never executed assassination plots.