‘Supervisors’ to replace thousands of police officers, to save €30m

The cabinet is planning to replace thousands of police officers with less well-trained ‘supervisors’ in order to save up to €30m a year, Nos television reports.

By 2015, some 20% of the total police strength should be made up of these new positions, Nos says. The broadcaster bases its claim on justice ministry documents.
The new supervisors will have a shorter training period, will not be able to investigate crimes, and will earn less than traditional police officers.
However, justice minister Ivo Opstelten is quoted as saying in theTelegraaf the new style supervisors will be ‘full-value police officers with weapons and pepper spray’.
Police unions have already said the plans are unacceptable and will lead to an increase in the number of unsolved crimes. Police chiefs are in talks with ministers in an effort to have the number of supervisors reduced.
The new government had pledged to increase the number of police officers by 3,000, including 500 so-called animal cops, but those plans have been put on ice.
MPs unhappy

Politicians from across the political spectrum have condemned the proposals.
Jeanine Hennis, from Opstelten’s own VVD, is quoted in the Telegraaf as saying the plan is ‘bad’.
Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV and the driving force behind the cabinet’s promise to take on more police officers, said the plan is ‘very bad’ and that spending cuts should be found in other areas.
Opposition MPs have demanded Opstelten explain the plans in parliament.
Earlier stories
Police budget cuts mean fewer officers in the big cities
Confusion over 3,000 new police officers pledge

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