Dutch national police chief Bouman resigns

THE HAGUE--The head of the Dutch national police force resigned on Thursday, saying he no longer feels capable of seeing through the current far-reaching reorganisation.
Gerard Bouman (63) was transferred from the Dutch security service AIVD to the police in 2011 by then Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten to oversee the merger of 26 police regions into one single national police force.
Bouman’s departure had become inevitable because of the continuing problems the reorganisation is causing. Last month, it was announced that the merger of 26 police regions would take three years longer than expected and cost twice as much, with the budget of 230 million euros increasing to 460 million euros.
Bouman announced his resignation to the assembled police top in The Hague, saying that his departure comes at a time when the foundation for the national police force has been laid.
Insiders are not surprised by the move. There have been fierce discussions both within the organisation and with the powerful police unions, and contact with the Ministry of Security and Justice has been difficult since Opstelten left earlier this year, the Telegraaf newspaper reported.
Bouman will remain in the post until February 1, 2016. It is not yet known who will replace him.
Bouman also ran into difficulty after his visit to St. Maarten in July. In his report of the visit he said that local politicians were corrupt. Therefore, Bouman said he would not want to cooperate with them.
This infuriated Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, who threatened to halt the cooperation with the Dutch police in combating corruption and crime. Following an emergency meeting with Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk and Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur Minister Richardson decided to change his mind.

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