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Dutch police agents, Wikipedia

Wanted urgently: Immigrants to join Dutch police

The last thing most immigrant youths in the Netherlands want is a job as a police officer. They fear "inappropriate jokes" in the workplace and above all disapproving reactions from family.

Published: September 9, 2017, 2:51 pm

    The Hague

    Especially Moroccans and Antilleans do not want to become a law enforcement agent.

    Research done by Motivaction among 1 024 young people show that the police have a huge imagery problem as far as foreigners are concerned. From those with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean backgrounds, 56 percent say “certainly do not” want to work for the police. Among native Dutch people it is only 31 percent.

    The poll – commissioned by the National Police – was conducted in 2015 and 2016 and has never been published before.

    According to police, the results show that they should be recruiting “new Dutch” officers. They have been, for example, deployed neighbourhood agents to search for foreign talent at local schools.

    The police have also showered money on social media recruitment campaigns and special recruiting agents have been employed to recruit those with non-Western backgrounds.

    The aversion among immigrants to work for the police is high, according to reactions on the investigation. Immigrant youngsters have the impression that the police are “discriminating” or that the police in their eyes are an unfair organisation. Dutch agents are labeled “racist”, “impatient” and “white” by foreigners. “You hear that they act recklessly, and shoot people at random” says an immigrant youngster.

    Also, foreigners expect disapproving reactions from family and friends if they join the police. A quarter of the immigrant youths furthermore thought it would be impossible to pass the screening test required. This applies to only 7 percent of Dutch young people. Immigrants count on extra problems because the screening of relatives is part of the selection process.

    Especially Moroccans and Antilleans see little advantage in a police career. Only 12 percent of Antillean youths and 15 percent of Moroccan youths think it’s possible to ever join the police. Among Dutch young people, it is 39 percent higher. Cop chief Erik Akerboom the National Police wants a quarter of the new agents to have a migration background by 2018.

    The police has announced that in recent years more immigrants have begun training with the police. They suggested that there have now been considerable steps taken to improve their image as an employer for these target groups. “The percentage of aspirants with a migration background has increased from 10 percent in 2013 to more than 19 percent in 2016. By 2017, this rising line should continue.”

    But the Dutch daily, De Telegraaf – the most read newspaper in the country – had tried to obtain criminality rates among asylum seekers through a FOI request, but the National Dutch Police refused, saying that they did not keep numbers on asylum seeker and migrant crime.

    Yet according to De Telegraaf, Amsterdam police collects data on the request of the mayor and a “Migration and Foreigners crime” taskforce employs analysts to study migrant crime.

    The police later retracted their initial statement to De Telegraaf saying the numbers did exist although they were unable to release them due to “the importance of current investigations”.

    Now after a long tussle the Dutch daily has finally managed to obtain the data.

    According to the data, 663 migrants were arrested in the first nine months of 2016 for theft.

    Another 302 were arrested for “crimes against personal integrity” such as GBH, sexual offences and other forms of violence.

    By far the biggest share of criminal asylum seekers come from Albania, Georgia, Morocco and Algeria, which are all deemed safe countries meaning that the bulk of migrants have almost no chance of a positive asylum decision.

    De Telegraaf reported that more recent data suggests a shift in migrants from Muslim countries in Europe such as Albania towards North African countries.

    In total, two thirds of all suspected asylum seekers come from safe countries. According to Dutch police, criminal migrants are travelling through Europe and target asylum centres with the best facilities and chances of remaining.

    When they are faced with deportation, they take their leave and travel to the next European country, De Telegraaf reported.

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