More people killed or injured by Dutch police

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There has been a slight rise in the number of people killed and wounded by police bullets, news website NOS reports.

In 2011, the police investigated 30 incidents, which left five people dead and 29 injured. In 2010 there were 25 incidents, according to police sources, and the year before that there were 23 incidents.

Last year’s fatal shootings were in Amsterdam, The Hague, Hoensbroek, in the south of the country, and Apeldoorn, in the east. The last year there were as many incidents in which police had to fire shots was 1994.

On Friday night, police officers in Amstelveen fired shots when they arrested three suspects, but no one was injured, the police say.

The Council of Police Commissioners says police officers are using their weapons more often as a result of the mounting violence across society. Perpetrators increasingly also direct their aggression against the police, the Council says.

Sociologist Jaap Timmer dismisses the explanation, saying the number of incidents is too low to be significant. Violent crime is in fact dropping, Mr Timmer contends. He has been studying violence directed against and used by the police since 1993.

However, compared with Germany, France and Scandinavia, Dutch police officers cause more victims, Mr Timmer notes. The reason, he claims, is the fact that police are authorised to use their weapon in more circumstances than their colleagues in neighbouring countries are. Dutch police officers, for instance, are allowed to use their weapon during arrests, Mr Timmer explains, whereas police officers in other countries are only permitted to pull their gun for self-defence. cl

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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