The intensive approach to subversive crime in Zuid Nederland (the Southern part of the Netherlands) will be continued

The intensive efforts in the approach to subversive and organised crime in Zuid Nederland (the southern part of the Netherlands) will be continued in the coming years. Further work will be carried out on the comprehensive approach to subversive crime in the southern part of the Netherlands, by various government partners, including municipalities, police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, in the Brabant Zeeland Task Force collaborative effort. The capacity that was previously allocated for police deployment in Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Zeeland and the national police force (125 FTEs in total) as well as the Public Prosecution Service (15 FTEs), for the southern part of the Netherlands, will be continued this year.

The Minister for Security and Justice, Van der Steur, conveyed this in a letter to the House of Representatives. The terms for the Intensivering Zuid Nederland (English: stepping up the approach for the southern part of the Netherlands) and the Brabant Zeeland Task Force projects will come to an end in 2016. The results and signals that were received and achieved to date are positive. At the same time, the subversive problem is of such a nature that long-term and intensive work will still be required. Minister Van der Steur has therefore asked the various chain partners in Zuid Nederland and the relevant national services to devise a follow-up plan for further collaboration after 2016. Part of the long-term plan will focus on improvements to the abilities to seize criminal assets, amongst other things.

It is evident, from the progress reports of the Intensivering Zuid Nederland and the Brabant Zeeland Task Force projects, that the interventions carried out by government partners, aimed at the criminal environment, to tackle the effect of subversive crime from the underworld, on the legitimate business world, have been carried out in a joint fashion. However, the intensive efforts during recent years in the southern part of the Netherlands have also shed more light on what has been invisible for decades: the problem is complex, more severe and more deeply rooted in society than what was suspected at the time that the approach was initially intensified.

Formal conclusion of the current Brabant Zeeland Task Force and the Intensivering Zuid Nederland projects this year, therefore also marks the start of a long-term continuation of the necessary intensive and comprehensive approach to the subversive problem. The first outlines of the follow-up plan and the agreement are expected before autumn 2016.