How does the National Police work?

The National Police has been a fact since January 1, 2013. From that day on, all police forces will form one national police organization. Responsible Minister of Justice and Security Ivo Opstelten guided the new police law through the Senate in 2012, after the House of Representatives had unanimously approved it in 2011. How is the National Police organized? The total of 63,000 police and civilian police employees will form a national police force from 1 January 2013. Before 2013, the management of the police was a matter for twenty-five police officers, from 2013 there is one responsible management.

The corps is divided into ten regional units:

Replaces the regional police forces Kennemerland, Noord-Holland-Noord, Zaanstreek-WaterlandRegional chief: Liesbeth Huyzer

Northern Netherlands
Replaces the regional forces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.
Regional chief: Oscar Dros

East Netherlands
Replaces the regional forces Twente, IJsselland, North and East Gelderland, Gelderland-Midden, Gelderland-ZuidRegional chief: Stoffel Heijsma n

East Brabant
Replaces the regional police forces Brabant-South-East, Brabant-NoordRegional chief: Frans Heeres

Zeeland-West Brabant
Replaces the regional police forces Zeeland, Central and West BrabantRegional chief: Hans Vissers

Replaces the regional police forces Limburg-North, Limburg-South
Regional chief: Gery Veldhuis

Central Netherlands
Replaces the regional police forces Utrecht, Gooi- en Vechtstreek, FlevolandRegional chief: Miriam Barendse

Replaces the Amsterdam am-Amstelland corps
Regional chief: Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg

Replaces the South Holland-Zuid, Rotterdam-Rijnmond corpsRegional chief: Frank Paauw

The Hague
Replaces the Haaglanden, Hollands-Midden Region Chief: Henk van Essen

Supreme Chief of Police

Gerard Bouman is the highest chief of police and has only the minister above him. His workplace, the head office, is in The Hague, close to the ministry, the leadership of the Public Prosecution Service (College of Attorneys General) and the Council of the Judiciary. Patricia Zorko is also chief of the national unit of the National Police. Dick Heerschop is Chief Information Officer. The regional heads work together with the mayor of the largest municipality in their region, the so-called regional mayor.

Districts, basic teams

The ten regions are divided into 43 districts and 167 basic teams. The basic teams can be compared to the district offices of the local police officer. The ten also coincide with the regions for the judiciary. That was not the case before 2013. The criminal investigation department, arrest teams and other specialist teams fall directly under the regional chief.

Cross-regional activities

The National Unit carries out cross-regional and specialist work. Consider the national criminal investigation department and specialist units (such as the anti-terrorism unit). There is also the national police services center where ICT and purchasing are arranged. From now on, all items are purchased centrally.


There is also criticism. Critics call the organization of the National Police too cumbersome. In addition, they believe that there is too much power with the Ministry of Security and Justice. Furthermore, some consider the layer of regions unnecessary. Some services such as the police could work more efficiently and better from the districts.

Ordinary citizens do not notice anything about the new police, except that from 2013 there has been one New Year’s speech by the highest police chief. Before 2013, almost all police chiefs made the news with their own New Year’s message. Furthermore, the officers will wear new uniforms from 2014.

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