Homemade explosives use tripled in a year; Forensics office can’t keep up as cash runs out
The number of homemade explosive devices in the Netherlands has almost tripled in a year, the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) said to NRC. A total of 31 cases in which self-manufactured devices have been used were investigated by the institute last year.
NFI director Marc Elsensohn said that while the increase in number may be significant, it is completely in line with the increase in crime and subversion in the country.
"The explosives are mainly used by organized crime for threats, settlements and attacks", Elsensohn said.
At the same time, according to the director, the institute can no longer cope with the demand to investigate explosives. In the next five years, financial cutbacks at will mean researchers at the NFI will not be able to carry out all investigative work requested by the police and the public prosecution service (OM). That limit will likely begin next year.
The NFI has warned of impending financial shortfalls for years. In its own annual report, the NFI wrote that it was running a deficit of almost 3 million euros on a budget of 83 million euros in 2020. The institute forecasts to have an annual budget deficit of more than 4 million euros from 2022, with the replacement of equipment and IT systems among the areas requiring additional spending.