The police can boost their standing in the community by handing out more fines, home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst told MPs on Tuesday.
People expect to get a fine if they break the law, Ter Horst said. ‘The instrument to boost respect is writing out tickets,’ she was quoted as saying in the Telegraaf. ‘People approve if road hogs or drivers who go through red lights are fined.’
Ter Horst told MPs the justice ministry had agreed the police should raise €831m through fines, and denied this is new policy.
Opposition MPs say the reputation of the police is being hurt by police officers standing on street corners handing out as many fines as possible. While the national quota was scrapped from police performance contracts, individual forces may still impose their own, the Telegraaf said.
During the debate, the minister said she was setting aside €25m to help police forces which end up in acute financial trouble. She has ordered the police to cut overall spending by €190m a year, by boosting efficiency.
The minister said she and justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin were also looking into whether the maximum fine for insulting a police officer can be increased.The average fine is now €290.