Dutch MPs outraged at police manpower cutback
The cost-cutting measure will compromise the safety of streets in the Netherlands, warns MPs from opposition parties.The Hague – Dutch opposition MPs have expressed outrage at a leaked plan by Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst to make financial cutbacks by restricting the intake of trainee police officers.
The opposition Socialist Party, conservative VVD and the rightwing Freedom Party warned the measure would mean fewer police on the beat.
VVD leader Mark Rutte said he would "not rest until this ridiculous plan has been scrapped".
On Wednesday, de Volkskrant reports the police force plans to take on only 3,000 new officers in the coming three years -- half the number originally planned due to the economic crisis.
The plan, which will see police cut spending by up to EUR 190 million a year and sell off assets worth EUR 400 million, was opposed by police chiefs.
The Dutch NPB police union described the cut in manpower as "short sighted and irresponsible".
However, the minister said the cuts do not necessarily mean a reduction in the number of police on the beat. Improvements in efficiency will allow more officers to leave their desks and go out on patrol, said Ter Horst.
Earlier, the police chiefs and the ministry have agreed to step up with police recruitment as the police force is expected to see older police officers retire.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica