Netherlands no longer Europe’s safe, quiet hamlet; Police chief blames organized crime
The Netherlands is no longer a safe, low-crime have in Europe Amsterdam chief of police Frank Paauw said on the television program Buitenhof on Sunday. He responded to stories related to organized crime, such as the murders of crime reporter Peter R. de Vries and lawyer Derk Wiersum.
Midden-Nederland police chief Martin Sitalsing said he is “naturally” concerned about organized crime in the Netherlands. Arrests are made very quickly, according to Sitalsing. “What we see is that we are getting the most out of the investigation.”
Sitalsing said he was particularly concerned about the young people who join organized crime. When young people lack perspectives “then, the choice to get involved in crime becomes very powerful.”
“The concerns are great,” Paauw agreed. The Amsterdam police chief indicated that in order to tackle organized crime, more preventive work needs to be done in the neighborhoods to offer young people opportunities so they do not resort to organized crime.
In a press release from the police about the appearance in Buitenhof of Paauw and Sitalsing, along with police chief Gerda van Leeuwen, it was stated that all neighborhoods and streets in the Netherlands deserve police presence. To fulfill that role the police require sufficient staff, as well as, modern ICT resources, the press release said.
“A police force should not only intervene afterward but be able to identify problems as early as possible and step in when necessary”, the statment said.
Recently, the Cabinet has been aiming to fight subversive crime, which can include collusion between the underground crime network and people working in important positions. The new Cabinet needs to be aware of the importance of investing in the police force to fight organized crime, the police chiefs said.
Reporting by ANP