Expatica news

Police chief slams prosecution boss

25 March 2004

AMSTERDAM — Public prosecution chief Joan de Wijkerslooth has no feeling for police work and maintains limited contact with the nation’s police corps, negatively impacting the fight against crime, Amsterdam police chief Jelle Kuiper has claimed.

Kuiper said in an interview with newspaper De Volkskrant on Thursday that De Wijkerslooth kept his distance from police and that there has never been good contact between him and the entire Dutch police corps.

He also said the prosecution chief had an opinion about everything and that the fight against crime would improve if there was better contact between De Wijkerslooth and the nation’s police.

Kuiper criticised De Wijkerslooth’s approach to crime, claiming that if he forced police to adopt his manner of working, the nation’s police would no longer be able to operate efficiently or flexibly.

Kuiper will soon be replaced as Chief Superintendent of the Amsterdam-Amstelland police region by the current Groningen police chief, Bernhard Welten, news agency ANP reported.

The Public Prosecution Office (OM) dismissed Kuiper’s comments as “absurd”, claiming that he was focusing on the individual rather than the fight against crime. It also said the police chief should know better.

“This type of reaction is improper,” said a spokesman from the College van Procureurs-Generaal (Attorneys-General Council), which is in charge of OM policy. De Wijkerslooth is the attorneys-general council chief.

The Amsterdam police chief also caused a stir among politicians in The Hague in November 2003 when he criticised Interior Minister Johan Remkes of saddling police with too many administrative hassles.

And in reaction to the latest comments, Democrat D66 leader Boris Dittrich has demanded an emergency debate in the Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, with Remkes next week to discuss Kuiper’s attitude.

He said it was “unacceptable” that two important government organisations — both of which are responsible for public safety — are fighting it out with each other. Dittrich urged Remkes to draw up his vision for a joint approach against crime.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news