5 cops fired, 6 more punished in Limburg harassment investigation
Five police officers were dismissed from the Horst/Peel en Maas base team in Limburg for serious dereliction of duty, acting chief of the Limburg police Inge Godthelp-Teunissen announced on Friday. Disciplinary measures were taken against another six. They were found guilty of harassment, intimidation, leaking police information and, abuse of powers.
An investigation was launched into the Horst/Peel en Maas base team in April last year, after local police leadership received signals about four employees behaving inappropriately. The investigation was expanded to a total of 11 officers. They were already suspended, and the now officially dismissed cops were already informed that they would likely be fired.
An investigation of WhatsApp messages, information in the police system, and interviews with police officers showed that the suspected cops were guilty of "one or more" inappropriate behaviors including harassment, undermining behavior, intimidation, leaking confidential information, and subversive behavior, the police said in a statement.
Based on the results of this investigation, five police officers were officially dismissed. The other six faced disciplinary actions, including demotion, transfer to another team, forfeiting leave hours, or a pay cut.
"This kind of behavior is unacceptable and that is also the reason why we are taking such firm action. The society we work for must be able to count on a reliable police. That is one of the pillars on which we are building a safe Limburg," Godthelp-Teunissen said.
In July this year, the Public Prosecution Service announced that over a thousand police files that these cops were involved in are being investigated. If the cops committed crimes in these cases, the case files may be unusable in litigation.