Saturday 19 September 2020

No change to headscarf ban, Dutch police chief says

Police uniform rules will not be changed to allow Muslim police officers to wear headscarves, police chief Erik Akerboom has told staff, the AD reported on Friday.

Akerboom said in a message on the police intranet system he had been shocked by the reactions the idea – first floated by Amsterdam’s police chief – had generated.

Currently police officers are not allowed to wear any religious symbols but officials are considering lifting the ban in an effort to improve diversity. ‘We are talking about it,’ the city’s most senior officer Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told the AD earlier this month.

‘If we cannot recruit sufficient officers with a migrant background, this is a measure which could have an impact.’

‘There is clearly no support for the idea,’ Akerboom wrote. ‘The discussion is having a polarising effect within and outside the force.’ Acting justice minister Stef Blok has also said he opposes the idea.

Last weekend an Amsterdam police officer caused a social media storm when she went on patrol wearing a headscarf under her cap.

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