Expatica news

Top cop, prosecution chief resolve dispute

2 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — A conflict between Amsterdam police chief Jelle Kuiper and Public Prosecution (OM) boss Joan de Wijkerslooth has been ironed out, Interior Minister Johan Remkes has said.

In a letter to MPs, Remkes said the two men had spoken and decided they were essentially in agreement with each other. Earlier Kuiper launched a scathing attack on De Wikerslooth, saying he had no feeling for police work.

The minister said the dispute was due to the work pressure created by the ambitious Safety Programme designed to further an ongoing crackdown on criminality. Remkes denied reports there was a large difference of opinion between police and the OM.

The safety programme contains about 150 measures to improve public safety. Its goal is to reduce crime and public disturbance problems in the Netherlands by 20 to 25 percent by 2006.  

But conflict erupted after De Wijkerslooth mocked in a print media column a new police strategy aimed at preventing potential criminal behaviour in advance, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Friday.

De Wijkerslooth said the strategy was too vague and expressed concern that police work would be negatively by the new strategy. In response, Kuiper said earlier this month that the OM boss lacked a feel for police work and maintained too much distance between himself and police corps.

But Remkes has since denied that the new strategy will negatively impact police capacity to carry out investigations and said it was not up to police to carry out the preventative tasks.

He said it was the responsibility of police — in regards tasks outside of their main functions — was to detect and possibly advise other organisations about preventative actions. The minister’s response signified he had sided with De Wijkerslooth.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news