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Support and skepticism for police in the Netherlands

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

Dutch people for the most part agree with police actions and the way the police operate. In 2011, a majority of 60 to 70 percent of the population supported the police in their actions during the previous year and believed that the police safeguard values they regard as important, while approximately 10 percent disagreed.

Widespread public support does not mean that Dutch citizens are not critical of the police, however. In fact, when it comes to loyalty, the population is fairly evenly divided between loyal, neutral, and skeptical people.

Just 8 percent believe it is absolutely their duty as a citizen to never doubt police actions, while 18 percent believe it is definitely not their duty to do so. 12 percent believe it is absolutely their duty to support decisions made by the police, even if they disagree with them, while 18 percent believe it is definitely not their duty to do so.

On the other hand, more people than not believe they should obey police orders and follow their instructions, even if they don't like the way the police treat them.

Also, a strong majority believe they should obey police orders and follow their instructions, even if they don't understand why or if they disagree with them.

A generation gap is apparent when it comes to loyalty to and support of the police. Over-65s are the most law-abiding and also most loyal to the police. The difference between over-65s and 15 to 25- year-olds is considerable. There is little discernible difference between men and women or city-dwellers and villagers with respect to support of and loyalty to the police.

Carly

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Carly Blair

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