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NCJ Number: 166746 Find in a Library
Title: Corrective and Preventive Complaint Procedures in the Netherlands
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1996)  Pages:55-56,58-59
Author(s): P J van Zunderd
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the handling of complaints against police in the Netherlands in general and in Rotterdam in particular.
Abstract: The new Dutch Police Act mandates that certain rules be followed in handling complaints against a police force or its officials. These rules address the formation of an independent commission, whose members can advise the mayor about the settlement of complaints; the terms in which a complaint must be settled; the registration of complaints and the way in which they are settled by the mayor; and periodic publication of the way in which complaints are settled and the action taken. In Rotterdam a complaint can be made when a citizen is not satisfied with the way in which he/she has been treated by the police. It can be made verbally at any police office or in writing to the mayor, the public prosecutor, or the force manager for the regional chief of police. The complaint will then be forwarded to the chief for the district involved. If a complaint is made verbally, it will be heard by a high-ranking officer, who attempts to resolve the problem immediately. The officer may have a meeting with the police officers concerned. If this satisfies the complainant, both the complaint and the result are recorded in writing and confirmed by letter within 2 weeks. If the problems remain in the relationship, the complaint is recorded in an official report and dealt with in the same way as a written complaint. A written complaint is investigated by the chief. Within a week, the complainant will be invited to a meeting with a high-ranking officer, as well as the officers implicated in the complaint. The chief renders his judgment in the matter, and a letter is subsequently sent to the complainant, confirming the content of the meeting and the judgment. If the complainant is not satisfied with the handling of the complaint, there are several avenues of appeal. This article also provides data on complaints processed by the Rotterdam police in 1994, discusses the police disciplinary philosophy, and describes some measures for preventing citizen complaints against police.
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Complaint processing; Foreign police; Netherlands; Police discipline
Note: Excerpted from a presentation at the workshop, "The Impartial Investigation of Complaints Against Police Officers: A Threat or a Challenge?" at the 102nd Annual IACP Conference in Miami, Fla., October 1995.
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