Police officers buckling under workload, union warns
Police officers in the Netherlands are struggling under stress and their massive workload, especially after recent riots in Utrecht and The Hague, Jan Struijs of police union NPB said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
The recent riots forced officers to work overtime, sometimes working 14 or 15 hour shifts. In Utrecht and The Hague, officers were pelted with stones and fireworks. "The exact damage of this, especially on a personal level, will only become clear in a few weeks," Struijs said. "The dropout risk is increasing enormously."
The absenteeism rate among police officers is currently 6 percent, compared to the normal average of around 4 percent, he said. Struijs blamed structural under staffing as the root cause of these problems, adding that he is "extremely concerned" about the welfare of the officers.
"They were already worked to the bone before the coronavirus crisis, given a structural staff shortage and very active organized crime." The ongoing health and economic crisis has only made the situation worse, Struijs said.