Dutch minister wants to allow police to strike back

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Policemen should have more rights in reacting to threats or insults and be supported even if they act more forcefully than needed, says Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst.

The Hague – Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst wants to widen policemen's mandate to respond to threats.

In a TV interview, the minister said police officers often feel restrained in their ability to react to threats or insults, because any act of violence has to be accounted for afterwards. Policemen even have to account for a slap or a punch they administered.

"We have gone too far in this," Ter Horst said.

The minister said it is unacceptable if the authority of the police constantly fails to be recognised.

The police deserve every support, she said, even if they act with more force than the situation calls for.

Research by the Free University in Amsterdam revealed that policemen report on average 1,250 instances of threats by the public, and 7,000 insults per year.

Members of the public often target individual policemen when they are cautioned or questioned. A majority of 80 percent of the perpetrators are men, of whom many are known to the police. They threaten policemen and their families with assault, rape, or killing.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

2 Comments To This Article

  • jesterhyde posted:

    on 29th October 2009, 16:11:54 - Reply

    This is appalling... Basically, certain elements of society are trying to hold themselves above the law by threatening the agents that are employed to enforce such.
    The Minister's is very right to raise this concerning issue but the response is completely wrong. Empowering Police to respond violently to someone for mouthing off at them without having to fill out a form is not a step forward for my mind.
    Police are the mechanism by which the law is enforced
  • AndreaUKA posted:

    on 29th October 2009, 10:55:11 - Reply

    '...They threaten policemen and their families with assault, rape, or killing...'

    God, what a sad country this has become...