Haarlemmermeer police chief suspended over sexual harassment allegations: report

Dutch police
A sign hanging in front of a Dutch police post. April 30, 2006Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Michiel1972Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

The team chief of the Haarlemmermeer police was suspended so that allegations of sexual harassment against him can be investigated. The man is suspected of sexual assault and texting sexual messages to a female police officer working under him, NRC reports based on sources within the police. 

Anja Schouten, the unit chief for the Noord-Holland police, confirmed to NRC that an "exploratory investigation" is ongoing, but would say nothing further. 

The female police officer was transferred to the Haarlemmermeer team in March, after she was bullied into leaving the Hoefkade police station in The Hague, according to the newspaper. Her colleagues turned against her after she reported abuses by other police officers to the Safety, Integrity and Complaints team of The Hague police, the newspaper writes. 

At the Haarlemmermeer team, the officer was harassed to such an extent that the she no longer dared to go to the bathroom alone, colleagues told NRC. She is currently at home on sick leave and refused to comment to the newspaper.

The team chief was suspended on Friday for investigation. His cellphone was confiscated as part of the investigation, according to the newspaper. He was also not available for comment. The man is the co-founder of the police think tank on how to make the organization more diverse and has been working for the police for 30 years.

This man is the second police team chief to be sent home in a week. On Tuesday the team chief in Leiden was placed on forced leave because she caused too much internal tensions by publicly criticizing racism, abuse of power and bullying within the police organization.