The merger of the Netherlands’ 26 regional police forces into a single body will not be completed until 2018 and the total cost will be double the budget at €460m, justice minister Ard van der Steur told parliament on Monday.
‘Not all the plans can be implemented in the original time-frame,’ Van der Steur said in a briefing. ‘There is a lot to improve in the way the police function and there is a reason why this was the ambition.’ The reorganisation was originally slated for completion this year.
The quality of detective work leaves much to be desired and cannot to be tackled, the minister said. ‘All in all, the ambitions are too great to realise in the five years set aside to create a national police force,’ he said.
A more realistic approach to the reorganisation is needed, he said. ‘This is the only way the police can succeed in their task of improving the organisation, strengthening their position… to create a safe Netherlands.’
Changes in the way criminals operate require changes in police methods, he said. In particular, more financial and economic specialists and cyber crime experts are needed.