The outgoing Frisian police commissioner Kees Bangma believes the formation of the National Police has been a failure. ‘It has become one large Mexican army with a lot of bureaucracy, where local administrators have far too little influence on how the police function.’
Image: outgoing police commissioner Kees Bangma (photo Omrop Fryslan)
Bangma says goodbye to the police after 47 years. He became known in Friesland following the death of Meindert Tjoelker in 1997. He was the initiator of the silent procession to commemorate the death of Tjoelker, who was so severely abused in Leeuwarden that he died.
Bangma speaks out at Omrop Fryslân about the establishment of the National Police. He is critical of it: ‘The National Police, which was set up at the time, is too bureaucratic and too far removed from ordinary people, according to the outgoing commissioner. The scale has become much too big.’
In a speech at his farewell to the police, he puts it as follows: ‘The beacons have been moved to such an extent that the ship has run into a sandbank.”
According to the former commissioner, systems and protocols take over the role of the professionals. It is too much a matter of national police and too little attention is paid to local police. There was always a balance in the regional police, but that is now gone.
Bangma does not believe in the story that work can be done more efficiently, he says at the regional broadcaster: ‘It has become one large Mexican army with a lot of bureaucracy, where local administrators have far too little influence on how the police function.’
To move house
According to him, the police must be decentralized again. More powers for the region would be a very good thing: ‘We have to get rid of the idea that it has to be exactly the same everywhere.’
His advice to the new national police chief Janny Knol would be to move the head office to Amersfoort, for example.
For Bangma there are more frustrations. According to him, there are more people in the police who talk about the job than there are officers on the street who carry out the job. He mentions the information department as an example: ‘It is all managed centrally because they are afraid of the image. Afraid of making mistakes. But we have to accept that things go wrong every now and then.’