Less bureaucracy as a result of the abolishment of paper tickets

In future, police officers will no longer have to write paper tickets. Enforcement of frequent violations in the streets will take place entirely electronically. Handwritten tickets, the small yellow papers, will be abolished. All required data are processed immediately at the scene using a handheld computer and subsequently delivered digitally to the Central Fine Collection Agency, which then sends the fine with a giro collection form.

This is written today by Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice in a letter to the Lower House concerning the progress of the action programme 'Fewer rules, more on the streets' that is used by the Minister to counter the increasing administrative burden experienced by the police. The administrative burden on the police has to be reduced by 25 percent in the period of 2011 to 2014. This is equal to a productivity gain of 5,000 FTEs. This means that police officers will have more time for real police work: fighting crime and nuisance on the streets.

Abolishing

paper tickets will lead to a significant reduction of the administrative burden of the police and result in considerable time savings. Each year, police officers write on-the-spot tickets in approximately 720,000 cases, and approximately 180,000 of those cases involve parking violations. The legislative proposal to cancel paper tickets will be sent to the Lower House following consultation. The measure is expected to take effect on 1 January 2014.

Phone tapping

In his letter, Minister Opstelten announces a new series of measures intended to further reduce bureaucracy within the investigative authorities. For example, Opstelten wants the police to be able to tap phones registered in the name of the user and not just on the basis of the phone number. This will make it possible to prosecute criminals who use several phones or who regularly switch numbers more quickly. Currently, a separate order from the public prosecutor needs to be obtained for each individual number. It will also become simpler for police officers to examine camera images from banks and stores. The current procedure is very labour-intensive and time-consuming for the police. It may be important to the investigation to gain access to the images quickly and easily, for example, if the flight of the perpetrators after a robbery has been recorded by security cameras.

Opstelten also wants the police and the Public Prosecution Service to coordinate their working methods better so that a lot of bureaucratic obstacles can be removed. For example, so-called BOB rooms will be introduced next year in which police officers and employees of the Public Prosecution Service cooperate in the application, processing and implementation of special investigative powers.

Time savings

The implementation of the action programme 'Fewer rules, more on the streets' is on course, according to Opstelten. The measures that have been implemented up to the end of August 2012 have already resulted in a productivity gain of more than 500 FTEs. In addition, various other measures have been initiated that will significantly reduce the administrative burden within the investigative chain as of next year. This will result in time savings and greater job satisfaction for police officers. This concerns, inter alia, the introduction of a user-friendly investigative system which means that police officers will have to spend less time on processing data and will result in the simplification of often-used forms for example for arrests, registration of stolen travel documents and police reports for juveniles. The police have also introduced new, efficient working methods in the handling of drinking and driving and requests for mutual legal assistance.