Riot police need new, improved equipment as they face more violence
The Dutch police are urgently looking for better riot police equipment, BNR reports based on documents in the tender procedure. The current equipment is no longer enough to withstand the increasing violence riot police officers are exposed to, the police told the broadcaster.
The tender documents mention that the equipment must withstand stick beatings, stabbings, thrown stones, and dangerous fireworks. It must also be easier for police officers to put on and take off for faster deployment.
“The current uniform has been around for ten years. But unlike ten years ago, we see groups that are not deterred by the deployment of the riot police and seek confrontation. Some groups even wear protective clothing for this. Partly for this reason, the equipment needs to be replaced,” a police spokesperson said. The current uniform is too hot and has weak spots, often leaving officers with bruises.
Only one supplier came forward in the tender procedure, able to meet the police’s demands but not at the police’s price. The police decided to negotiate with this party instead of going through another tender process. “Otherwise, we would have to wait another year.” The purchase will cost about 12.1 million euros and will only be the first step towards a national roll-out. The equipment and uniform will have to be tested first.
Maarten Brink of the police union ACP is cautiously optimistic about the tender. “We have been saying for some time that the current outfit no longer protects enough,” he said to the broadcaster. “We are also seeing more and more violence against police officers. The fact that the new uniform will protect better is essential if riot police officers are to be able to do their jobs.”