Thousands of volunteers prop up police forces

Fourteen of the 25 Dutch police forces use members of the public as volunteers to carry out police tasks, RTL news reports.

Thousands of ordinary people volunteer for police tasks and some wear police uniforms and take part in surveillance or minor detective work, RTL says.
The projects are aimed at ‘improving safety’ and private individuals will play an even greater role when the new national police force is established, sources told the broadcaster.

In the Haaglanden police region, for example, the local force wants to have 550 volunteers on its books by the end of the year. They will take over 120,000 hours-worth of tasks from the regular force, including patrols and minor detective work.
Without volunteers ‘we would be able to do substantially less,’ acting police chief Paul van Musscher told RTL news.
In Limburg, volunteers have walkie talkies they can use to alert the police if they spot vandals or burglars and ‘suspicious types’.

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