€100 mil will be spent on protecting mayors, city council from criminal underworld
The Cabinet is pushing 10 million euros per year over the next decade into protecting mayors, aldermen, and city councilors against threats, aggression, and intimidation, and making local governments more resilient against undermining crime.
"For good and reliable governance, it is an absolute necessity that administrators, civil servants, and politicians can do their work without aggression, intimidation, or other undermining influences," Minister Hanke Bruins Slot of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said to parliament. "We must never consider this normal. Administrators, civil servants, and politicians don't face this alone."
Over 65 percent of mayors say they've faced verbal aggression, threats, or intimidation at least once. The same is true for almost 40 percent of aldermen and 30 percent of city councilors. Most don't report incidents.
To reverse this trend, the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Netherlands Association of Mayors, and the Network for Resilience are launching a campaign to make sure city government workers know that intimidation and threats are not part of their jobs, that they're not alone, and that reporting incidents is essential. The Ministry also developed a step-by-step plan to investigate reports quickly.
Many municipalities and provinces have little insight into which of their processes are susceptible to undermining, such as permit granting and enforcement. Small municipalities also have little capacity to investigate this. The Regional Information and Expertise Centers will investigate the vulnerability of municipal processes. And the government will push more money into sharing lessons learned about the approach to security.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will also put effort into getting more municipalities to join the View of Undermining dashboard. Currently, 14 municipalities are part of the dashboard, which shows criminal patterns and phenomena on a regional, municipal, district, or even neighborhood level. The dashboard will also be expanded to show analyses on quality of life and safety, housing, holiday parks, and social unrest.