The police noticed a striking increase in young offenders over the past year, according to annual figures released on Wednesday. More and more young people are turning to online fraud to make some quick cash, or walking around with weapons on the street - a worrying development, according to National Police Chief Erik Akerboom.
In total, over 800 thousand crimes were reported to the police in the Netherlands last year, an increase of 4 percent compared to 2018, according to annual figures the police released. This is the first time in nearly a decade that crime figures showed an increase. In 2010 over a million crimes were reported. That slowly decreased to 770 thousand in 2018. But the downward trend came to an end in the second half of 2018.
The New Year's Eve festivities are fast approaching, and while it is a fun time for most in the Netherlands, New Year's is a high-risk event for the police and other first responders, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said on Twitter. He called on everyone in the Netherlands to help make sure that this New Year's tradition is a festive and "especially safe" one for everyone.
The head of the national cases division of the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) is being put forward by top cop Erik Akerboom to become the Chief of Police in Rotterdam. If appointed by Royal Decree, Fred Westerbeke will take over on April 1.
The Dutch government is allocating 30 million euros for the purchase of electric shock weapons for the police. Equipping cops with tasers has been high on the police's wish list for some time, and they are now getting their way, RTL Nieuws reports.
Around 17 thousand police officers who may find themselves in a situation in which they have to defend themselves against violence will be equipped with a taser. Part of the 30 million euros will go towards purchasing these weapons, and part will go towards training police officers how to handle and use them.
Mayors of municipalities in the Den Haag region released a joint statement in which they "strongly" reject the idea that there is a culture of discrimination within the police unit Den Haag that the leadership in the unit is ignoring. With this statement the mayors of Delft, Leiden, Zoetermeer, Rijswijk and Leidschendam-Voorburg, among others, respond to complaints from civil society organizations, a whistleblower and political parties about racism and discrimination within the police, NOS reports.
A group of 20 civil society organizations, led by anti-discrimination action group Controle Alt Delete, filed an official complaint against the police unit Den Haag. According to the organizations, the police in The Hague have been ignoring signals and reports of discrimination within the police for years and that must change. The complaint was filed with National Police chief Erik Akerboom, and a copy was sent to Minister Ferdinand Grappenhaus of Justice and security.
Violence was used again police officers working the party scene in Roosendaal and Doetinchem during the early hours of Sunday morning. One officer was injured and a total of eight people were arrested.
"Another weekend with excessive and unacceptable violence against colleagues", National Police chief Erik Akerboom said on Twitter. "In Roosendaal and Doetinchem, among others, things went wrong against colleagues 'just' doing their jobs. Local and national measures are once again necessary."
The police are worried about enforcing local firework bans over New Year's and doubt whether these bans contribute to safety, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said in a letter to parliament. "Maintaining public order is becoming a lot more complex for my people", he said in the letter, the Telegraf reports.
The PvdA will vote against the government's justice budget if Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security does not structurally commit extra money to fighting organized crime, labour parliamentarian and justice spokesperson Attje Kuiken said to NPO Radio 1 program 1 op 1.
Drug crime has become so big in the Netherlands partly because of inconsistent policy regarding the police, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said in an interview with the Volkskrant.
"The up and down policy of successive cabinets means we cannot build a good position in the neighborhood. That you cannot build, stable long-term intelligence positions because you are always being asked to do something else", Akerboom said. As a result, the police lost sight of young criminals that start out as drug runners and grow into drug lords.
A team chief of the Leiden police was placed on leave after she called public attention to racism, abuse of power and bullying within the police organization this summer. She was sent home because her criticism caused "too much internal tensions" at the police unit Den Haag, which covers Leiden, NRC reports.
The police are liable for damages sustained during a mass shooting in the Ridderhof shopping center in Alphen aan den Rijn in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The authorities knew that gunman Tristan van der V. had psychological problems before he was issued a firearm permit, and he therefore should never have gotten that permit, the Supreme Court ruled.
On 9 April 2011, Tristan Van der V. opened fire in the Ridderhof shopping center. He killed six people and injured 16 others before committing suicide.
Authorities investigating the murder of criminal defense attorney Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam have joined forces with Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTV in the hunt for the perpetrator. Police are still searching for the suspect they believe to be responsible for the crime.
National Police chief Erik Akerboom is calling on the government to equip police officers with tasers. An incident in Rotterdam last week, in which a cop was knocked out by a member of a wedding procession, is not an isolated incident, according to the police chief. "As the police, we must increasingly enforce authority. People do not want to be corrected", he said to the Telegraaf.
In the first half of this year, the Dutch police registered 5,113 cases of aggression and violence against police officers. These figures are usually released on an annual basis, but the police decided to release provisional figures at the media's request after four cops were injured during arrests in Rotterdam over the weekend, NOS reports.
The police are launching a national, independent hotline for police officers who are discriminated against, intimidated or sexually harassed by their colleagues, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said in an interview with NRC.
The 21 thousand cops who have to work this New Year's will be equipped with earplugs to protect their hearing against firecrackers and other fireworks. As the government is refusing to respond to the plea of the police, dozens of other civil society organizations, doctors and many municipalities to ban firecrackers over New Year's, the National Police will take other measures, chief Erik Akerboom said, NU.nl reports.
There are problems like racism, intimidation and sexual misconduct within the police, and National Police Chief Erik Akerboom works every day to reduce them. But it is an illusion that he can put an end to all these abuses within a few years, the police chief said in television program Jinek, NOS reports.
On Friday the Dutch government will announce a nationwide ban on the strongest consumer fireworks - fireworks that fall in the so-called third category like strips and rolls of firecrackers, sources in The Hague told broadcaster NOS. Both the fireworks sector and the police are dissatisfied with the ban.
The ban will take effect from New Year's 2020-2021, according to the broadcaster. Category three fireworks, which form only a small share of the Dutch market, are already banned in Belgium and Germany.
The police regularly manipulate crime figures, according to a study among police officers by investigative journalism platform Investico. Criminal offenses are kept off the books, police officers try to discourage citizens from filling reports, and cases are marked as 'resolved' when they are not, according to the study published in De Groene Amsterdammer.
The platform surveyed nearly 1,500 police officers and conducted interviews with dozens of cops and others involved.