Opstelten: Easier ways for citizens to report crimes

The introduction of the national police force will soon enable anybody to report a crime within 24 hours, wherever it suits him or her. It will no longer be necessary to go to the police station in the municipality where the crime has been committed. Anybody calling the police to report a crime will receive ‘tailored’ treatment. Depending on the nature of the crime, the report can be made through the Internet, by telephone, at home or at the police station. Mr Opstelten, the Minister of Security and Justice, announced this at the opening of the academic year 2012 – 2013 of the Police Academy in Apeldoorn.

A simple and customer-friendly uniform reporting procedure will be established for the police, which will be identical in all parts of the country. According to Minister Opstelten, this is necessary to provide better services to citizens. At this time, there are still major differences between the reporting procedures in the 25 police forces. Thanks to the introduction of the national police force, people will be able to report a crime anywhere in the Netherlands. 'When someone discovers in Amsterdam that his wallet was nicked while in Maastricht for the weekend, he should be able to report this in Amsterdam, without being compelled to go back to the very south of the country', says Opstelten.  

In addition to the ‘tailored’ reporting, a nationwide tracking system for the reporting of crimes will be introduced, enabling citizens to find out what action has been taken after they made the report. Also, nationwide arrangements will be established on the manner in which victims of serious crimes, such as hold-ups or violence, will be informed on the development of the police investigation.

In his speech, Minister Opstelten emphasized the fact that the Netherlands will be safer thanks to the introduction of the national police force. The police will operate more efficiently and more effectively, which will lead to better results when dealing with e.g. hold-ups, mugging, burglary and violence. The performance of the police officers’ work will improve after the introduction of the national police force. New nationwide procedures and working methods will be introduced and drastic cuts will be made to red tape, paper work and administrative costs. As a result, policemen will have more room to make their own professional, well-considered decisions within a framework of clear-cut rules.