Strategy to resolve and monitor organisational problems within the Dutch Police Force

The organisation of the Central Unit of the Dutch Police Force is in urgent need of improvement, and Minister Grapperhaus has asked the Chief Officer to implement a strategic programme for this purpose. The execution and results of this programme will be carefully monitored both internally and externally. External supervisory advice will be requested concerning the entire strategy, in order to ensure a solid organisational structure for the Central Unit and give clear insight into the improvement and reinforcement of leadership, culture, management and monitoring. All of the above was explained in a letter from Minister Grapperhaus to the Lower House of Parliament in response to the first partial report from the Inspectorate for Justice and Security (IJ&V), which was prompted by indications of possible misconduct in various departments within the Central Unit.

The Central Unit of the Dutch Police Force is responsible for tackling organised crime and terrorism in our country. In 2019, upon request by Minister Grapperhaus, the Inspectorate for Justice and Security started an investigation into indications of misconduct, improper management styles, abuse of power and unprofessional conduct in various units within the organisation. The minister described IJ&V's report as 'incisive' and said he believes it confirms the indications that originally prompted him to ask IJ&V to launch an investigation.

The first partial report focuses on the National Police Information Unit (DLIO, part of the Central Unit) and more specifically in the National Centre for International Legal Assistance (LIRC) and the Criminal Intelligence Team (TCI), two departments within the DLIO. The improvements that have already been implemented are most visible and tangible within the TCI, which is responsible for obtaining, verifying and processing information about criminals and criminal activity. Additional improvements are required for the LIRC, which is responsible for international information exchange for the purposes of investigations. IJ&V concluded that the problems within LIRC following its establishment by the Dutch Police Force were caused by the simultaneous implementation of two separate processes: both 'establish a solid organisational structure' and the transition to 'expanding the range of duties'.

Minister Grapperhaus endorses IJ&V's conclusion that the Central Unit has already taken action to tackle the identified problems, although there is still plenty of room for improvement with regard to the organisation. 

"It is vital that both staff and partners of the Central Unit have confidence in the selected strategy and are involved in the improvements. I have asked the Chief Officer to provide me with periodic reports on the progress of this programme."

explained the minister.

This strategic programme will now be implemented to tackle the remaining problems within the Central Unit. In due course, the Chief Officer will appoint an additional member to the management team of the Central Unit, whose remit will be to reinforce, monitor and make any necessary adjustments to this strategic programme. Minister Grapperhaus is confident that the recommendations made by IJ&V will be implemented and that the Central Unit will make substantial steps in the right direction. IJ&V has also been asked to investigate the announced strategic programme at a later date to ascertain whether it has had the desired effects.