Police ‘lack terror alert instructions’
14 July 2004
AMSTERDAM − The Interior Ministry on Wednesday dismissed claims by the police union ACP that officers deployed to tighten security amid the present terror alert have not received clear instructions.
ACP chief Gerrit van de Kamp said he read on Teletext several days ago that there was a terror alert issued for the Netherlands, claiming that that no one had informed him of the present threat. He described the situation as “strange”.
Armoured police wagons and extra police officers moved into surveillance positions at key Dutch infrastructure points last Friday after the secret service AIVD warned the government it has indications that Islamic extremists might be preparing a terrorist attack.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has since urged the public to remain vigilant and has asserted that the public should not be alarmed with the visible additional security measures.
But the police union ACP claims that police officers sometimes do no know what they must look out for. Police have also raised questions about their own safety, leading to unrest among officers, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
Van de Kamp said police have raised questions about what the terror threat means, what police are instructed to do and what measures they should undertake.
The union has sent a letter to Interior Minister Johan Remkes demanding answers about the present situation.
But a spokesman for the minister said all police corps have been issued with instructions about the terror alert and claimed the ministry has not received angry criticism from any police region, Dutch associated press ANP reported.
He said besides police corps, the nation’s Queen’s commissioners, mayors and the Public Prosecution Office (OM) have also been informed about the terror alert. “Uncertainty over the instructions is of course the last thing that we need.”
Despite this, news agency Novum reported that the ministry has admitted it has received extra telephone calls from people wanting more detailed information.
And the Liberal VVD party has demanded answers from Remkes − who is presently on holiday − about the instructions issued to police.
VVD MP Geert Wilders said he was amazed that instructions had apparently not been issued and asserted that there should not be any unrest allowed to develop among police. He will reportedly raise the matter in Parliament later on Wednesday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news