Promote data exchange law enforcement entities

THE HAGUE–The exchange of information among law enforcement entities between the countries of the Dutch Kingdom most certainly has its benefits and efforts to achieve such in a structural, formal manner should be promoted.

Dutch caretaker Minister of Security and Justice Stef Blok stated this in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament earlier this week in response to a March 2017 inspection report of the Dutch Caribbean Law Enforcement Council.

Blok said he subscribed to the importance of collecting, storing and sharing data of police and the justice sector in a proper manner. “This is an essential condition to connect information from the different cases in the various countries of the Kingdom in a structural way, to detect patterns and as such to effectively combat organised and international crime.”

The Minister stated that he also agreed with the conclusion of the Law Enforcement Council that many decent plans had been drafted in the past years to get the data systems of the law enforcement sector in the Kingdom, but that the execution of these plans left much to be desired.

According to the Council, the small scale of the islands should not be an excuse to hold on to the informal working methods. “I agree with the Council on that point, but the small scale is an essential reason for the current situation. The small scale does promote an informal working method. It concerns a deeply-rooted cultural issue and changing that culture is a matter of patience and many small steps.”

Blok stated that more trust is also needed to be generated in the services and colleagues in other parts of the Kingdom with whom information is shared. “That too requires the necessary investments. The need for this culture change is clear.”

The Minister explained that late 2016, the chiefs of the police forces within the Kingdom and the National Police signed an agreement to promote more regional cooperation. He stated that he would seek attention for the further professionalising of the information system within this cooperation.

The recommendations to promote the exchange of information between the countries and the drafting of legislation that will result in the inclusion of DNA profiles of convicted criminals in the data banks of the countries should be encouraged, stated Blok.

“In underscore that the recommendations of the Law Enforcement Council would contribute to a more effective tackling of crime and I will bring this up in my contacts with the responsible Justice Ministers of the other countries,” Blok concluded his letter.

The Law Enforcement Council recommended Minister Blok in its report to take measures aimed at a further professionalising of the information system of the Caribbean Netherlands Police Force KPCN, to take the initiative to have the Public Prosecutors Offices facilitate in clearer directives and possibilities to exchange police and justice information and to promote the drafting of legislation to include the DNA profiles of convicted criminals in the data banks of all Caribbean parts of the Kingdom.

Source: The Daily Herald