Almost 2.500 damage claims filed against the Dutch police
According to figures requested by the NOS, in the last few years almost 2.500 damage claims have been filed against the Dutch police. This has cost them millions. Claims range from heavy-handed arrests to broken down doors.
Millions in damages
Each year, the Dutch police receive around 500 considerable damage claims for more than 2.500 euros. These claims are reviewed by the police’s insurer before being paid. It is however, unclear how many claims are approved and how many claimants thus receive compensation.
Many of the claims that the Dutch police receive concern the damage caused when a raid is performed on a building. Perhaps the address was not correct, or the door had to be knocked down so that the police could get to the occupant in an emergency situation.
During the period from 2013 until midway through 2017, the police received 668 claims pertaining to damage caused when forcing entry into a building. In this timespan, another 497 claims were lodged due to violent arrests and 309 for loss or damage to confiscated property. The police regularly receive and pay out such claims.
A further 342 claims were made for damages caused to the property of uninvolved parties, during a chase for example. Numerous claims were also made by agents retaining an injury from work or training. In total the police paid out more than 5.8 million euros in claims in the 2013-2017 period.
Dutch police measures
According to police damages coordinator Onno Meijer, sometimes damage is inevitable. However, the police do want to bring the numbers down. In order to do so, a central registration point will be established, where all damage claims can be filed. This will provide a better overview of all the cases where wrongful damage was caused and actions can be taken to prevent such damage in the future.
A special prevention officer will also ensure that fewer cases of damage are caused by the police. In addition to these measures, the police want to handle claims more quickly and keep claimants better up-to-date.