Dutch police face shortage of 1,400 cops this year

Police in the Netherlands face a shortage of 1,400 officers this year, around 3% of the total 47,000 police jobs. Police expect to be back to full force by 2025, NOS reports based on figures released by the National Police. It’s about shortages at the task force level, the people who do the actual policing.

There are occupancy differences between regional units. Large cities face the greatest shortages. The Hague unit is short of 383 full-time employees this year. This comes down to a 6.7% shortfall on The Hague unit’s strength of 5,672 FTEs. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are both short of more than 275 police officers this year, more than 5% of the workforce. On the other hand, the Noord-Nederland and Oost-Brabant units only lack 4 and 13 cops respectively.

In an explanation of the shortages, the National Police told NOS that politicians and society not only expect more cops on the streets, but also want the police to come down hard on organized and subversive crime and give more attention to digital crime. This comes with a bigger budget – 6.4 billion euros this year, more than a billion more than in 2016 – but training new cops takes time.

“The police are a popular employer. Many people want to work for the police, and finding new colleagues is not yet a problem despite the tight job market,” the National Police told NOS. “However, strict selection and intensive, multi-year police training take time. The training capacity will be used to the maximum in the years to come.”

At this point, the police still have 4,500 cops in training. Once the task force is back in order in 2025, it will dwindle to 4,000 trainees at any one time.

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