The head of the Dutch national police force has called on police officers to ‘keep a cool head and be sensible’ in an article on the force intranet, the NRC reported on Wednesday.
Gerard Bouman says he wants to prevent an ‘escalation’ of the situation after a court ordered a police officer to be jailed for two years for shooting a man in a getaway car.
In the article, Bouman called on police officers to avoid making generalisations about the legal system in the Netherlands.
The jail sentence has caused a lot of upset within the police force and many officers feel they have been let down by the legal system, Bouman said. However, he warned the police against venting their frustrations online. These are ‘unjust, misplaced and do not help anyone’, the police chief said.
The police, justice ministry and public prosecution department are currently revising the rules on the use of violence by the police and Bouman said he is keen to see special measures being introduced.
‘We cannot avoid taking responsibility for eventual mistakes,’ Bouman wrote. ‘At the same time, we must be able to count on an independent assessment which takes the specific nature of our job into account.’
The public prosecution department has already appealed against the two-year sentence following the non-fatal shooting, which was handed down by a court in Limburg last week.
In addition, on Thursday, two police officers who shot dead a person they were attempting to arrest two years ago will appear in court in Rotterdam.
An investigation is also underway into the death of Aruban holidaymaker Mitch Henriquez in police custody last month.
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