Police dismissals, suspensions up 8% to 134 last year
A total of 134 police officers in the Netherlands were fired or suspended for violating integrity rules last year, an 8 percent increase compared to 2017. The most common reason for disciplinary action taken against a police officer was "violation of standards in private life", followed by leaking, abusing or withholding information, according to figures the police released on Thursday.
The number of cops suspended or fired for leaking, abusing or withholding information increased significantly compared to the previous two years. Last year 28 police officers faced disciplinary action for this integrity violation, compared to 18 in 2016 and 16 in 2017. A total of 51 cops were fired or suspended for violating standards in their private lives, 15 for violating internal rules, 11 for forgery or fraud, and 10 for inappropriate behavior.
Exactly half of the 134 police officers were fired outright, the other 67 faced suspension and other disciplinary measures. In 2017 a total of 124 police officers were fired or suspended, the year before 130.
Integrity is one of the police's core values, the police said in a statement. "Citizens can expect the police to act with integrity. The monopoly on violence, the enforcement of rules and the possibility of depriving people of their freedom create that extra responsibility." That's why signals of integrity violations by police officers are always investigated, the police said. "There is no place in the organization for police officers who abuse their position and who go wrong."
From next year the police plan to report more extensively on integrity violation within the force, "because the police want to be transparent" about the number of violations.
Police dismissals and suspensions per violation in 2018:
- Theft/embezzlement - 2
- Leaking, abusing, withholding information - 28
- Abuse of power - 1
- Abuse of position - 3
- Abuse of procedures and resources - 7
- Violation of standards in private life - 51
- Unwanted side activities and conflicts of interest - 6
- Inappropriate behavior - 10
- Violation of internal rules - 15
- Forgery/fraud - 11