Report claims ethnic minority police officers are more vulnerable to corruption

Police badge and radio.

The justice minister’s research institute WODC has published a new report which claims police officers with an ethnic minority background are more likely to be involved in bribery and corruption than their white peers, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

The WODC says that people with a minority background are central in 40% of corruption cases involving law and order officials – the police, customs officials and tax ministry investigators.

However, they only represent 7% of the total law and order personnel, the paper quotes the report, which is not yet on the ministry’s website, as saying.

In concrete terms, however, the researchers identified 16 cases of corruption from a pool of 4,500 law and order officials with ethnic minority roots. Most of them are beat police officers who are young and inexperienced.

The report suggests that they may be more vulnerable to corruption because police officers who carry out police patrols ‘operate more in the direct vicinity of criminals’.

In addition, ethnic minority police officers are likely to have a large network of family and friends. ‘Given the major involvement of some ethnic minority groups in (organised) crime, there is a chance that officials with a migrant background are more likely to know someone with a criminal background than native Dutch officials,’ the report is quoted as saying.

Mark M

The WODC was commissioned to carry out the report into police corruption following the arrest of Mark M, who is currently on trial accused of systematically leaking information to criminals for four years.

M, who is white, is alleged to have run a network of underworld clients while training in the police force and passing on files from the police data system. An investigation found he had made 30,000 inquiries about 23 cases.

Justice minister Stef Blok told the Volkskrant the report shows the need to take corruption within the police seriously and confirms ‘how important it is to ensure law and order officials are able to resist the pressure from organised crime.’

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