Police union boss urges house arrest for Covid-19 offenders
Authorities should be "imposing house arrest" on people who receive fines for violating Covid-19 social distancing measures, Gerrit van de Kamp, chairman of police union ACP, said on radio program 1op1 on Tuesday. In the event that the current measures remain in place for much longer, Van De Kamp explained that house arrest "could be one example" that police should be allowed to consider when planning for longer-term enforcement of the measures.
After three weeks of enforcement, it has become increasingly difficult to get some people to adhere to the ban on groups of over two people, and convince those who refuse to comply of the necessity to maintain 1.5 meters of distance, he says. Van de Kamp adds that he finds it "difficult to believe" young people who claim to be ignorant of the rules, which police have to frequently encounter.
"On a forum with colleagues," Van De Kamp explains, "three-quarters of the 400 colleagues surveyed indicate that they deal every day with people who do not comply with the measures, with spitting or violence towards agents."
Over the course of Easter weekend, police served around 1,800 fines to people for failing to adhere to Covid-19 related rules. Police and city enforcement officers are allowed to discuss social distancing with people before formally warning them. Adults are subject to a 390 euro fine, and minors a 95 euro fine, for violations.
Van De Kamp believes that stronger punishment for such offenses, such as house arrest, would ultimately prove successful in reducing the toll of enforcement on the police.