Dutch police

The Dutch police exist to maintain public order, offer assistance to those under threat, and to enforce the criminal law.

The role of the Dutch police

To achieve those objectives, the Netherlands police fulfil several core roles including, but not limited to:

 Being visible on the street: preventing offences and crimes.

 Basic detective work: investigating petty thefts and burglaries is part of basic police work; when the case takes up too much time, it is transferred to the special branch.

 Giving advice to the public on preventing crime: how to deter burglaries, keeping safe at night, etc.

 Providing assistance to those who ask for it but also to game wardens, municipalities etc.

 Dealing with traffic issues: traffic surveillance, handling traffic accidents, advising citizens and municipalities, traffic congestion reduction etc.

 Maintaining laws and regulations. For example checking if foreigners are in possession of the right documents (visa, residence permit, work permit etc.) in cooperation with the immigration service.

 National, (inter)regional investigations: serious crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, youth delinquency, arms trade, fraud, big environmental cases and sexual offences.

Note that in these cases, the detectives are often supported by specialists.

dutch police

Use of force & weapons

To maintain public order, each police officer in the Netherlands has been issued with a 9 mm service pistol, short baton and pepper spray.

However, there are stringent regulations that restrict the use of force and weapons by the police. The Netherlands police force is monitored by a general public survey every two years, which evaluates the experiences of people who have come into contact with police force members. 

It is also audited every four years by an independent government body.

Dutch police contact details

You can contact the police:


At the police website, you can find the contact details for your local police: click on Korpsen (top right hand corner of the webpage) select your region. Note that enquires and complaints should be made to your police branch / region.


- If you are in an emergency and require urgent police assistance, you should call 112
- For non emergency matters that still require police assistance, call 0900-8844
- If you have to call the Dutch police from abroad, use +31 34 357 88 44

Amsterdam ranked world’s fifth safest city in 2015 index

According to the Safe Cities Index 2015, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Amsterdam is one of the safest urban centres in the world.

Dramatic drop in street robberies in the Netherlands

During Safety Week the Dutch Ministry of Security announced a 20 per cent drop in muggings compared with the same period last year.

Decrease in use of force by police in major Randstad cities

Instances of police using force occurred less often in 2013 than in 2012 in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht according to a new report.

Dutch police more likely to stop ethnic minorities

Amnesty International claim that Dutch police are more likely to perform checks on ethnic minorities than ethnic Dutch in the Netherlands.

Dutch police using undercover GPS bikes to catch thieves

Lokfietsen, bikes with an in-built GPS tracking device, are helping police in the Netherlands track down hundreds of bicycle thieves.

Support and skepticism for police in the Netherlands

Citizens of the Netherlands generally supports the way in which the Dutch police operate, but make a distinction between obeying the police and agreeing with their actions, according to new data from CBS.

Illegal immigrants to be targeted by police

The Dutch police force has decided to get tough on illegal immigration, at the request of the government.

Dutch police: cuts & reassignments

Police forces in Amsterdam and The Hague are to be reassigned to the countryside as well as other areas with high crime levels and unequally-sized communities.

Dutch police launches "bait" bikes project

Police in Amersfoort are leaving out bait bikes in different spots around town secretly equipped with tracking devices in order to catch bicycle thieves.

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