Saturday 04 December 2021

Mayors reject national police force

Mayors in Dutch cities do not want a national police force, fearing they will lose control of policing activities.


The association of mayors (NGB) and the association of municipalities (VNG) were reacting to a report in Trouw on Tuesday that the three parties currently negotiating a coalition government want to form a security ministry which will include a national police force.
Policing currently falls under the home affairs ministry.
The NGB is concerned the new ministry will have too much power over policing. ‘Mayors are being given increasing powers that must include responsibility for the police,’ a spokesman told news agency ANP.
The NGB says security is primarily a regional issue. Most police work takes place in local communities and politicians should not determine how much time officers should devote to particular cases.
Separation essential
VNG chairman Annemarie Jorritsma, who is also mayor of Almere, says she fears a judicial police force. ‘Police work is not just detection but also public order,’ the former Liberal VVD minister told NRC. ‘Bringing the two together in one ministry would be a huge task.’
The police should remain separate from the public prosecution office which falls under the justice ministry, says the VNG. It wants separation of powers guaranteed if a security ministry is set up.
The council of chief constables is in favour of a national police force, says ANP. It would allow the police to work more efficiently and reduce the administration. In addition, criminals now operate across borders and the police need to be involved in international investigations.

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