The Dutch Lower House is positive about the appointment of discrimination investigators at the police. This became apparent early July during a vote on a proposal from Vera Bergkamp (D66), Kirsten van den Hul (PvdA) and Nevin Ozutok (GroenLinks).
Dutch gay interest group COC had recently insisted on this, alongside TNN, NNID and other interest groups.
The House wants Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus (Justice & Security) to engage with the police, the Public Prosecution Service and interest groups to explore the possibility of introducing discrimination investigators.
The COC argued, alongside other organizations, in favour of these specialized discrimination investigators because only a few perpetrators of (LGBTI) discrimination are ever convicted. Providing evidence in discrimination cases is often complex, and specialized investigators can contribute to more convictions. The police also have specialized investigators for sexual and environmental offences, among other things.
Abroad, the police often already work with specialized discrimination investigators. This is the case, for instance, in England and Wales, where the willingness to report discrimination is twenty times higher than in the Netherlands, while those countries together are only three times larger than the Netherlands.
The call of the COC for the specialized investigators was also made on behalf of NNID, TNN, Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders (SMN), Stichting Inpraakorgaan Turken (IOT) and the Israel Information and Documentation Centre (CIDI).
Earlier this year, COC, TNN and NNID already achieved a doubling of the maximum penalty for incitement to discrimination, tackling discrimination as a mandatory subject at the police academy and giving Roze in Blauw (Pink in the Police Force) officers a stronger position in the police organization. In Pink in Blue are officers who, among other things, can support LGBTI people in reporting discrimination.
COC and activist collective #ikbenhetzat demonstrated at the House in November for a more robust approach to violence against LGBTI people.