Cabinet to discuss prefab homes for refugees

Industrial production falls slightly

The Dutch government will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the use of prefab homes to house asylum seekers. Prime minister Mark Rutte, just returned from a trade mission to the US, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher and home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk will discuss the housing crisis with local government association VNG and representatives from the provinces. The aim is to avoid a repetition of the scenes on Wednesday in the Drenthe village of Oranje when angry locals blocked roads to prevent more asylum seekers arriving after a commitment to limit refugee numbers was broken. Approval Currently, 13,000 refugees have approval to stay in the Netherlands but are still living in asylum seeker centres because of the lack of social housing. And because they cannot be moved on, emergency accommodation for refugees is also filling up fast. The government is now working on a plan to build prefab and container homes. If all the local councils agree to provide land, 23,000 'emergency' homes can be built within two weeks, according to the VNG. [banner]    More >

Policeman suspected of being informer

Industrial production falls slightly A police officer from the national detective force has been arrested on suspicion of large-scale selling of information to the underworld. The detective is suspected of selling highly sensitive information over many years to international drugs organisations and criminal motor clubs, the NRC reports. The police and the public prosecutor say it is the 'biggest judicial scandal since the IRT-affair' of the 1990s. Then, the police were shown to have been dealing in drugs. In the new case, someone at the heart of the detection force systematically informed the underworld about criminal investigations. Relationship The NRC quotes sources as saying that the detective operated in Oost-Brabant where he frequently sold information to local drugs gangs and had a warm relationship with motor clubs No Surrender and Satudarah. A spokesman for the public prosecutor in Den Bosch confirmed to the paper that a man was arrested on September 29 and is being held on suspicion of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The man's house has been searched and computers seized, although the public prosecutor spokesman 'could say nothing' about this. The national police refuse to comment on the case, the NRC says. [banner]    More >

The Hague police target minority officers

Industrial production falls slightly Police in The Hague are introducing quotas and setting up special work experience schemes in an effort to encourage more people with an ethnic minority background to sign up. In addition, the police will do more to explain to people why they are carrying out stop and search procedures and will take the registration of discrimination complaints more seriously, mayor Jozias van Aartsen said on Thursday. While the introduction of quotas is controversial, 'there is an urgent need for more cultural variety' in police stations such as the one in the largely immigrant area of Schilderswijk. [banner] The Hague's local force came under fire this summer for the heavy-handed way an Antillean holidaymaker was arrested. He died later in hospital. The death led to riots in Schilderswijk and other parts of the city, as well as complaints about the 'daily reality' of 'racist police violence'. The police have now drawn up a 35-point plan to stimulate diversity and counteract discrimination. The Volkskrant article did not give more details about what form the quota would take, other than to say that more ethnic minority officers would be given promotion. Doubts Leiden criminology professor Joanne van der Leun told the paper that the experience with quotas for ethnic minority officers are not always encouraging. 'You can bring them in but it is more difficult to keep them,' she said. 'Non-western police officers experience more pressures from outside the force and from existing police culture. Good leadership and team work is as least as important.' She also raised doubts about plans to increase the use of bodycams. 'What lies behind that?' she asked. 'Is it simply to collect evidence about their actions in the face of complaints, or will they be used to professionalise and generate feedback to change the culture?'  More >

One in five hospitals in financial trouble

Industrial production falls slightly One in five Dutch hospitals is in serious financial trouble, according to the annual survey of hospital finances carried out by accountants group BDO. The research shows 22% of hospitals are in the financial danger zone, partly due to reduced demand for their services. In particular, small hospitals are in a difficult position, BDO said. 'It would appear to be a question of time before more hospitals go bankrupt,' accountant Chris van der Haak told broadcaster RTL. 'If they are unable to get their financial affairs in order, they have no future.' [banner] For years hospitals have been bailed out by the government when they run into financial problems but two years ago health minister Edith Schippers said she would no longer do this. Since then, a hospital in Spijkenisse and one in Dokkum have gone bust. Hospitals can boost their financial position by merging and closing down unprofitable departments, Van der Haak told RTL.  More >

Asylum debate: MPs must be security aware

Industrial production falls slightly Politicians who are actively involved in the ongoing debate about asylum seekers should take their security seriously, according to an email sent by the parliamentary security service to all MPs. The 'social unrest' caused by the influx of refugees is making MPs more vulnerable, the security service said. 'It is possible that opponents and supporters at meetings about refugees could confront MPs with their fears,' the AD quotes the email as saying. Earlier this week, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff was harassed by people in the village of Oranje when he came to explain why the government had broken its pledge to limit refugee numbers in the settlement of 140 people. [banner]  More >