Bill on National Police sent to the Council of State
Upon recommendation by Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice, the Council of Ministers has agreed to a bill that will result in the formation of a national police force. The current administrative model, with 26 police forces, will no longer exist, and a single national police force under the responsibility of the Minister of Security and Justice will be formed. The national organisation will mean less bureaucracy and better cooperation between the various divisions of the police and police officers that are involved in operational police work.
The national police will have its basis close to the citizens, therefore in the community and in the municipality. The bill will lead to a strengthening of local authority. The position of local persons in authority - the mayor and Public Prosecutor - will be strengthened. They will make agreements at the local level concerning the deployment of the police. They will also be closely involved in the appointment of local police chiefs. The position of the municipal council will also be strengthened. The municipal council will adopt a comprehensive security plan that will be used as the basis for agreements on police objectives at the local level.
The chief of police will charged with the management of the national police force. The existing regional police forces, the National Police Services Agency, the Dutch Police Collaboration Facility and all other supra-regional facilities will be incorporated in this single police force, which will consist of ten regional units and one or more national operational units such as the current National Investigation Service. The boundaries of the regional units are similar to the proposed boundaries of the court districts. This will simplify cooperation in the judicial chain.
Minister Opstelten submitted the bill for a national police force to a number of parties for consultation at the end of last year. He simultaneously sent a letter to the Lower House that sets out the main lines of the bill. Those main lines were debated with the House of Representatives in January of this year. The Cabinet has now agreed to the bill being sent to the Council of State for its opinion. Following the opinion of the Council of State, the bill can be submitted to the House of Representatives. The text of the bill will be made public upon submission to the House of Representatives. Minister Opstelten intends to have the bill enter into effect before 1 January 2012.