Almost one-third of police stations set to close in 10 years, says minister
The introduction of a national police force and the switch to online crime reporting procedures will lead to the closure of some 200 police stations over the next 10 years, according to justice minister Ivo Opstelten.
There are currently 750 manned police stations nationwide, but many of these will close gradually, Opstelten says in a briefing to parliament on Monday.
The 167 core police teams will all have their own police station and 16 of these teams will have two, often in crime hot spots, Opstelten said.
In addition, 400 ‘modern police support points’ will be set up, some of which may be located in town and city halls, depending on the size of the team needed.
The closure of 200 or so police stations will contribute towards the EUR 230m planned saving on the police budget, the minister said.
Police officers will spend more time on the beat and be given ‘police specific’ smartphones with special apps allowing them to access official registers and confirm identities.
The police themselves are critical of the reorganisation into a national force and fear it will cost far more than the EUR 200m estimate.
The police works council has rejected the plan, saying it is a ‘quick and impossible task’ which will ‘definitely bring extra savings with it’.
In Amsterdam, the sale of several police stations in the city centre, including the Warmoestraat branch famous from television series, is already underway.