Over the past years, mayors in the Netherlands imposed too few restraining orders in cases of domestic violence. In only between 3 and 12 percent of police reports of this type of crime, a domestic violence restraining order is issued, according to researchers from the Verwey-Jonker Institute who looked into the use of domestic violence restraining orders in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, RTL Nieuws reports.
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 Justice and Security Inspectorate is launching an "exploratory investigation" into the working methods and mutual relationships within two police departments that form part of the National Unit of the National Police. The Inspectorate received signals about possible abuses within these departments, including about "unprofessional practices", NOS reports.
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.
Four banks teamed up with the Dutch government and authorities to fight against financial service providers who launder money for criminals, Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday based on information from an anonymous source.
According to FD, ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and Volksbank signed a covenant with the National Police, the FIOD, the Public Prosecution Service, and financial intelligence unit FIU. This "serious crime task force" will focus on upper world lackeys who facilitate undermining crime.
Police officers are struggling with a massive workload due to increasing duties and a growing staff shortage, police unions ACP, NPB, VMHP and ANPV warned at a press conference in The Hague on Thursday. They call on the Justice Minister, the police leadership, mayors, and the Public Prosecution Service to pick which crimes will get priority in the coming year, because the police "can't do everything", NOS reports.
Municipalities and the police are very concerned about the new Compulsory Mental Healthcare Act that takes effect on January 1st. They worry that the law will result in even more people with serious mental health problems being treated at home. And because there is already not enough outpatient care to help people at home 24/7, this will increase the pressure on the police, Liesbeth Spies, mayor of Alphen aan den Rijn and chairman of the Society of Dutch Mayors, said to Nieuwsuur.
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.
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.
A special anti-drug unit, based on the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be established in the Netherlands, Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced on Thursday after the murder of defense lawyer Derk Wiersum in Amsterdam. But more than that will be needed in the fight against organized crime, Eirk Heijdelberg, director of Willem Schrikker Youth Protection, said to broadcaster NOS.
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.
The police registered a total of 527 shooting incidents throughout the Netherlands last year. That amounts to 1.5 shootings per day. A total of 44 people were killed in shootings in a year in a half, the Telegraaf reports based on figures requested from the National Police.
So far this year, a total of 240 shooting incidents were registered. That is a slight decrease compared to the same period last year. The newspaper has no figures regarding shooting incidents prior to 2018.
The police plan to address problems at its forensic investigation department caused by staff shortages and outdated tech at the root - by hiring 200 new police officers and investing in new technology, AD reports.
Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer wants the police to stop making underage suspects spend a night in jail for a minor offense. Minors who are arrested should not only be seen as a suspect, but also as a child, Kalverboer said in a new report, ANP reports.
"It is very drastic for children to be locked up in a cell, especially at night", the child advocate said. "If children are locked up, the police must be able to explain why."
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.
Dutch citizens are generally more positive about the police than the police officers themselves, according to a reputation survey carried ut by the police. The worst score the police received came from police officers themselves on employership and leadership. According to the report, these scores are "deep into the danger zone", NU.nl reports.
The Dutch police make note of the origin of all police employees to make sure that diversity increases within the corps, Lute Nieuwerth, head of diversity at the police, said in an interview with the Volkskrant.
According to Nieuwerth, the origin of employees is stored in such a way that it can not be traced back to individuals. The registration is to gain insight into how diverse the police force is, he said.