Half Amsterdam's police stations set to close
Wednesday 07 March 2012
The creation of a new national police force will lead to the closure of 15 of Amsterdam's 32 local police stations, the head of the capital's police union APV says in Wednesday's Parool.
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten wants the national force to become a reality on July 1, but the legislation still has to be processed by the upper house of parliament.
'Opstelten sees the national force as the solution to all our problems,' Ronald Pronk told the paper. 'There is a lot that is not clear, but we will certainly go down in strength. And they are fiddling the figures. For example, recruits will count as full police officers.'
It is not yet known which police stations face closure. A spokesman for Opstelten told the paper there is no question that the police will become more difficult to reach when the changes are introduced.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam city council is considering allowing private security officials to hand out fines for minor offences, by making them temporary civil servants in peak periods.
Councillors will vote on the plan on Thursday. Executive Carolien Gehrels says the council has too few city wardens (stadstoezicht) to cope at big events such as Queen's Day and important football matches.