Police officers are to help in registering the stream of new asylum seekers arriving in the Netherlands but the immigration service IND will remain responsible for judging cases, broadcaster Nos said on Thursday.
Police officers will be involved at three locations: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the new refugee centre in Budel, near Eindhoven. Until now, all refugees had to register in Ter Apel in Groningen.
The police will also help out military police officers (marechaussee) who have stepped up extra patrols of the Dutch borders and at Rotterdam port, looking for people trying to enter the country on trains, in boats and in lorries, the broadcaster said.
Details still have to be worked out and it is unclear how many officers will be involved.
Meanwhile, Dutch local authority organisation VNG said 700 refugees are now arriving in the Netherlands every day. Last week, there were over 3,000 new arrivals compared with 1,800 in the previous weeks.
Katwijk mayor Jos Wienen, who is in charge of the VNG’s asylum seeker committee, told television show Nieuwsuur on Wednesday night that local authorities have now come up with some 10,000 extra beds.
Some councils, he said, are concerned about who the refugees actually are. ‘Caution is of course understandable but the VNG has absolutely no reason to think that lots of terrorists, or other people who want to cause harm, are among them,’ he told the current affairs programme.
On Wednesday it emerged that prisons, conference centres and even tents are being turned into emergency accommodation.
Plans to house some 3,000 people in marquees near Nijmegen have been described by junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff as ‘not ideal’.
However, the large tents, which are raised and have heating, are better than nothing, the minister told reporters on Wednesday.
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