The basic principle behind the appointment of ‘wijkagenten’ (community police officers) is to increase the visibility and acknowledgment of police presence on the street. More ‘blue’ on the streets is therefore the keynote of the policy for community police officers in The Hague. It is important that there is a direct point of contact between the police and the public, and in addition it is essential to police public order in the neighbourhood. The presence of more police officers on the street affords residents a sense of security and helps prevent disputes occurring in the community.
• Play a communicating/alerting role with regard to the public in a particular neighbourhood, whereby extra emphasis is laid on providing assistance and information.
• Provide extra police presence and involvement in the case of cumulative unrest and public disorder in the community.
• The enforcement (through surveillance and detection) of specific legislation.
• Function as a contact point for the residents of the community.
• Provide advice and expertise on local security incentives.
• Take action in the case of domestic disturbances and medical emergencies.
• Provide advice during the (local government) decision-making process.
• Report on relevant developments in the neighbourhood.
• Conduct criminal investigations particularly in regard to incidents of widespread petty crime in the neighbourhood.
• Provide a presence during large-scale activities or at public performances/demonstrations.
• Supervise colleagues and familiarize them with the community.
These indispensable public servants in our community regularly alert the local residents to specific criminal activity in the neighbourhood and offer advice on how to combat it. The item below about ‘Flipperen’ is a good example of how they can help us to ensure that our district continues to be a pleasant and safe place to live in.