‘Cops often feel powerless when confronted with confused behavior’ | NOW

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Police believe that they are insufficiently prepared to deal with psychological problems, according to a survey by Wednesday Faithful and the Green Amsterdammer, carried out by research platform Investico. Three quarters of the police officers would regularly feel powerless during a confrontation with confused behavior.

The survey, which was conducted among a thousand police officers, explicitly asked about the contact with people with confused behavior in whom the police also suspect psychological problems. Of the police officers surveyed, 65 percent indicated that they had insufficient knowledge to deal with these people.

Three out of four police officers said they had experienced several times that they could no longer control a situation after having come into contact with someone with confused behavior. For example, they were attacked, or the person seriously harmed himself.

More than half of police officers sometimes find themselves forced to use violence against a person who displays confused and aggressive behavior. “Many” lack an electric shock gun as an alternative to the pepper spray and firearm.

National Police recognizes concerns of colleagues

The National Police declines Faithful recognize the “concerns of colleagues”. Work would be done to pay more attention to this in the training.

“That we treat vulnerable people like this, all police say: this is not possible”, says Jan Struijs, chairman of the Dutch Police Union in Faithful. “We are working with people from mental health care to pay more attention to what police officers can do in this group, so that we can prevent violence.”

However, Struijs also believes that the police are now confronted with a social problem that does not belong to them. “The extent to which we encounter this does not fit within a democratic civilization.”





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