Friday 10 July 2020

Justice minister defends police, describes The Hague demo actions as professional


Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus has strongly defended the police following the online circulation of videos which some say suggest plain clothes officers had been stirring up trouble during the anti-coronavirus rule demonstration in The Hague on Sunday.

Far right leaders Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet are among those circulating the videos and calling for an investigation.

One film in particular shows a group of five police officers in shirts and baseball caps failing to make an arrest and then retreating to a police van.

Grapperhaus described the videos as ‘manipulated’ and said the police intervention on Sunday was professional and responsible. In total 400 people were arrested when police moved in to break up the demonstration after some refused to leave.

‘The work the police do, particularly in the corona era, is difficult enough,’ Grapperhaus said.

National police chief Henk van Essen said earlier action needs to be taken to make sure confidence in the police is not being undermined by unsubstantiated opinions.

‘It is important that police officers remain willing to go the extra mile if needed,’ he said. ‘On Sunday, we prevented the centre of The Hague being wrecked by hooligans.’

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