Organisation of the Dutch police

The Dutch national police force consists of 10 Regional Units, the Central Unit and the Police Services Centre. The five-member Force Command has its own support section (Commissioner’s Staff).

Central Unit

In addition to its own independent tasks, the Central Unit also carries out specialist tasks in support of the Regional Units. The Unit’s Chief Constable is responsible for its day-to-day management. The Central Unit’s tasks include:

  • monitoring, supporting and coordinating major operations;
  • combating serious, organised forms of criminality of a national or international character which undermine the rule of law or vital infrastructure;
  • providing security support in the fight against crime;
  • deploying mounted police, sniffer dogs and forensic expertise;
  • providing security and protection for members of the Royal House and other VIPs;
  • carrying out and supporting police work on the motorways, the railway network, on the water and in the air;
  • combating all forms of serious violence and terrorism (Special Interventions Division).

Regional Units

The national police force consists of 10 Regional Units (website in Dutch). Each Unit is managed by a Chief Constable, and consists of districts divided into Frontline Teams. Each team provides basic police services in a municipality, part of a large municipality, or cluster of smaller ones. The teams, consisting of Constables and Senior Constables, neighbourhood police officers, detectives and one or more team chiefs, are responsible for ensuring that the neighbourhood, town or region is a safe and pleasant environment to live in. They answer calls for emergency assistance, patrol the streets, advise on crime prevention, resolve traffic-related issues, conduct basic investigative activities, assist the public, process official reports and share information within their networks.

Police Services Centre

The Police Services Centre (PDC) provides operational management services, such as finance, ICT, communications and human resources, leaving officers in the Regional Units free to spend more time on actual police work. Where possible, PDC staff are located at 1 of 3 central locations in the Netherlands.

Supervision of the national police force

The national police force is headed by the Commissioner. The Minister of Security and Justice has full ministerial accountability for the proper functioning of the police. The Security and Justice Inspectorate ensures that the police force performs its tasks properly.