Missing walkie-talkies prove a headache for police

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Police union NPB is demanding an investigation into how some 2,200 walkie-talkies have gone missing over the past five years, reports RTL Nieuws.

“We must be able to rule out 100% that devices are being used in criminal circles,” NPB’s chairman Jan Struijs said. “The registration is now a mess and that is extremely undesirable.”

According to RTL, there seem to be 450 missing walkie-talkies in Rotterdam alone. They are still active, but as it’s not clear who is using them, they are registered as missing. But they haven’t been blocked because police assume some officer is using them or they are sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Police say the chances that these missing phones will end up are in the hands of criminals, who can then listen into sensitive police information, is “nil”.

“Since April 2023, we have been working hard to get the administration in order,” the police said.

But Struijs wants confirmation that the missing walkie-talkies are accounted for.

“In the analogue era, people listened in with telephones, so only the essentials were communicated,” said Struijs. “Now confidential communication is also shared. So we really have to be able to rule out the possibility of listening in.”

In 2016, it emerged that an officer from Limburg had sold a walkie-talkie to criminals who were able to listen in to police and their control room, alerting criminals to upcoming police actions.

RTL is asking people who have any information about “C2000 radios that have fallen into the wrong hands” to contact them at: atonderzoek@rtl.nl.

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