Taskforce B5 deals with more organised crime
In its second year of existence, Taskforce B5, active in Brabant, dealt with more criminal networks and confiscated more criminal assets than it did during its first year. This result is mainly due to the joint information position created by the various agencies, including the police, the judicial authorities, the municipalities and the Tax and Customs Administration, which has been strengthened since the Taskforce started fighting organised crime in Brabant in 2011.
Fighting organised crime is a top priority for Minister Opstelten of the Ministry of Security and Justice, and for the Brabant authorities. Taskforce B5 is composed of the Ministry of Security and Justice, the five largest cities in Brabant, the Public Prosecution Service, the National Investigation Service, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the three regional police forces in Brabant, which all work closely together in order to reduce organised crime in Brabant.
In 2012 (from 1 January to 1 December) efforts were increased to deal with more criminal networks in Brabant. The number increased from 4 in 2011 to 11 in 2012, whereby the number of detained suspects increased to 62. More criminal assets were removed from the world of crime as well: 32 million euros in 2012, in comparison with 15 million euros in 2011. In addition, the Integrated Confiscation Team Brabant commenced operations in 2012, which provides a further impulse to this development.
The approach explicitly recognises the administrative authorities as partners in fighting crime. The B5 cities have formulated policy on the basis of the themes of the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (BIBOB), property crime, and real estate fraud. The challenge we are now jointly facing is expeditious implementation that will increase our scope for action. One good result is, in any event, the appointment of information coordinators and the purchase of a single IT tool for all municipalities, so that our exchange of information is optimal and we are able to strengthen each other
In Brabant, a single integrated information centre/platform/forum has since been formed at the Regional Information and Expertise Centre (RIEC), in which all partners (the municipalities, the three police forces, the two court districts and the Tax and Customs Administration) share their information. This has improved the joint information position of the Brabant government. In addition, two integration steering groups have since been formed in the two new police regions, which steer on the basis of integrated actions. The Taskforce will further transfer its binding and initiating role to the existing organisations in 2013.
‘Together’ is the keyword for the future, according to Minister Opstelten. All government agencies have to act together, which will make it impossible for criminal groups to operate in Brabant.