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Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf today reported on a plan that’s circulating withing the Dutch National Police to disarm a part of the Dutch police force, by stripping them of their handguns and police uniforms.

“According to the plan, from 1 January 2019 onwards, 160 members of the Traffic Accident Analysis unit (VOA) of the department of Forensic Investigation, would no longer carry a weapon. The Police Directorate confirms the intention, but claims that so far it is just an ‘internal advice’.”

VOE-members are now worried for their safety and fear they will no longer be able to respond to crisis situations. Since this unit is often out on the streets, dealing with aggressive people in tense situations, some members are now speaking out, albeit anonymously for fear of internal reprisals.

One of the squad members states:

“I can’t be expected to just keep on driving when an incident occurs in which I could have made a difference, just because I’m no longer armed?”

A colleague of his says:

“I’m working in a metropolitan area. A crime scene doesn’t consist of police ribbons and isn’t protected by basic police units. I’m alone at night at intersections with angry people around me. Who’s going to protect me?”

A policeman who has been in service for over 15 years, states under the pseudonym ‘Dennis’ that:

“We have so few police officers already. Then at least make sure those are recognisable and equipped to respond to calamities. What’s the next step? More policemen without weapons? We don’t have a choice. If we don’t turn in our weapons, we’re fired within 1,5 years.”

The Dutch National Police has been suffering from structural failures to reform and is perpetually unable to cope with the austerities imposed upon them from The Hague.