"Police have lost touch with minorities"
If police officers cannot learn to deal with people of ethnic background better then there is danger of social disruption.21 March 2008
AMSTERDAM – If police officers cannot learn to deal with people of ethnic background better then there is danger of social disruption. The Board of Police Commissioners has written this in a memo entitled 'Politie voor een ieder' (Police for everyone), that the GPD newspapers have had access to.
Officers should take into account the sensitivities of the various population groups more. Police forces that do not invest in that will be faced with "unpleasant surprises."
"Developments are moving quickly, 'thanks' to sms text messages, internet and the mass media. And problems quickly spread," the document reads. In at least three police forces officers are receiving training to better deal with people of ethnic background.
Bert Poelert, director of the police's national expertise centre on diversity, expects that more forces will follow this example. He is urging that the police hire more officers who are of ethnic background themselves.
Only 6.5 percent of the police workforce is of ethnic background. The Board of Commissioners expects a maximum increase of up to 10 percent, despite intensive recruitment campaigns. The board stressed that officers should give as neutral an impression as possible, by not wearing headscarves or other religious symbols.
[Copyright Expatica News 2008]