‘Narco-state’ Netherlands? Police union sends warning on overstretched resources

‘Narco-state’ Netherlands? Police union sends warning on overstretched resources
The Netherlands has started to resemble “a narco-state,” with criminals running a parallel economy, and law enforcement is struggling with resource shortages and poor facilities, the Dutch police union has warned.

In the eyes of many Dutch investigators, “the country already has a lot of features of a narco-state,” according to the national police association’s report, which was published on Tuesday. "In the last 25 years, I've seen small dealers grow into large entrepreneurs with good contacts in politics and into so-called respected investors,” said one of 400 detectives quoted in the report on condition of anonymity.

Based on accounts gathered over the past year and a half, the NPB report reveals some disturbing facts. According to police officers, only 20 percent of all cases receive attention due to severe shortages in detectives. As officers have to focus more on cases of brutal robberies or murders; small crimes, including a majority of those targeted against the elderly or vulnerable, often remain unpunished. 

“With current people and resources, only one-in-nine criminal groups are being dealt with in the fight against organized crime,” the report says.

Apart from a high workload and overstretched resources, the national police are also believed to be struggling with insufficient training, poor support services and a big bureaucratic burden. The union needs at least 2,000 extra detectives, the NPB’s chairman and former detective, Jan Struijs, says in the paper.

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