Data Exchange in the Fight against Organized Cannabis Growers

The police, the judicial authorities and the business community will exchange data about suspects of organized cannabis growing. This is set out in the Fight Against Organized Cannabis Growers agreement Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin signed today in Den Bosch.

The purpose of the agreement is twofold: the police and the judicial authorities will join forces to round up the cannabis nurseries and to tackle the underlying criminal organisations. This can be done more effectively by passing on the personal data of suspects to private parties such as network managers and insurance companies in the criminal investigations stage. These private parties may then pass on the information they have about the persons concerned to the police, so that existing relationships between persons, buildings and incidents can be identified and exposed more effectively.

The agreement also sees to the possibility of conducting a pilot project on the basis of this public-private data exchange. The pilot was reported to the Dutch Data Protection Authority and fits in with the frameworks of the Personal Data Protection Act and the Police Data Act.

The approach of the pilot fits in well with the new course charted by the current government in the fight against organized crime, under the motto: “not only the players must be caught, the game must be over as well”. As regards cannabis growing this means both rounding up the individual nurseries and tackling the underlying criminal organisations (financially).

The following parties participate in the pilot: the six southern police regions, Netbeheer Nederland and the Dutch Association of Insurers.

In addition to Minister Hirsch Ballin the agreement was also signed by: Police Force Manager Rombouts of North Brabant, Chief Public Prosecutor Nieuwenhuizen of the Den Bosch Public Prosecutor’s Office, Chief of Police Heeres of Central and West Brabant, Director of Netbeheer Nederland Van der Cammen and Director of the Association of Insurers De Boer.