Heavily armed police will soon be able to patrol Dutch shopping centres, railway stations and other busy public places, the AD says on Tuesday.
In total, 150 police officers are being trained in the use of submachine guns, on top of the 300 firearms experts who already form a specialist unit within the national police force.
According to the AD, the heavily armed officers will be able to patrol on the street – a first in Dutch police history. The extra patrols will only happen if there is a heightened alert and if permission has been given in advance, the police said in a statement.
‘Police have taken this decision to train up more specialists and widen the conditions under which they can be used partly in the wake of the terrorist attacks using automatic weapons in Paris,’ a spokesman told the paper.
‘People may be shocked when they see them, but we live in different times,’ the spokesman said. ‘The aim is to make this country safer for everyone.’
The Parool said last year that police officers armed with automatic weapons would be part of the security detail near the maritime museum in Amsterdam, where a number of top level EU meetings are taking place.
The first of these meetings takes place on Tuesday.
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