Police officers are fed up with handing out fines for small offences such not carrying ID cards and feel they are losing the respect of the public, according to police union ACP.
Police trade union chairman Gerrit van de Kamp told todays AD newspaper that politicians and police chiefs are pushing their officers to issue fines for ‘niggling offences’.
Van de Kamp says police officers are expected to issue a certain number of fines, leaving them unable to use their judgement. The money goes to the government which wants an extra €20m from fines this year. ‘This makes us part of government financial policy and that’s not what fines are for,’ he told the AD.
For example, 100,000 fines have been issued in the past two years for not carrying ID cards. In 40,000 of those cases, not having ID was the only offence. Since 2005, everyone aged 14 and over is required by law to be able to prove their identity.
‘A police officer can say ‘you have got two days to come down to the station and prove you are who you say you are’. But because they know they have to hand out a number of fines, they don’t go for the compromise,’ Van de Kamp said.
Socialist MP Ronald van Raak told the AD he planned to raise the issue in parliament. ‘If police officers think the law on identification is causing a problem, then the law should be altered,’ he told the paper.
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