The police in the Netherlands (National Police) is a police service charged with enforcing the laws of the Netherlands, maintaining public order and providing assistance. It also forms the investigation service for the Public Prosecution Service. [1]

This is regulated in the 2012 Police Act.



From the end of 1945 to 1993 the Dutch police consisted of the municipal police and the national police. Municipal police forces existed in municipalities with 25,000 or more inhabitants. The mayor was responsible for both public order and the management of the police (under the supervision of the city council). In the smaller municipalities, police work was done by the national police, which also included a number of national services.

1993-2013: regional forces
From 1993 to 2013, the police in the Netherlands were divided into 25 regional forces and a National Police Services Agency (KLPD).

The 1993 Police Act, which officially took effect on 1 April 1994, abolished the old separation in large and small municipalities. The municipal police forces and the regional districts of the national police were merged into 25 regional forces.

In each regional corps, a chief of police in the rank of chief of police was in charge of the daily management. Above was the 'mayor manager' the mayor of the largest municipality in that region. Police officer and police chief consulted regularly with the (chief) public prosecutor in the relevant region in the so-called 'triangle' (with the police officer as chairman). Above this stood as a general board a regional college consisting of all mayors from that police region and the chief public prosecutor. In addition, every municipality was in principle entitled to its own triangular consultation with its own mayor. In this new system, the municipal councils had only very indirect influence on the management of the police, something that was called a 'democratic hole' during this period.

A region consists of a number of districts, each with a district manager. Each district consists of a number of local units (basic units or teams). Each regional police force also had a criminal intelligence unit (CIE) and a Regional Intelligence Service (RID).

Determining the number of police officers and other police officers (the "police force") within a region was the number of residents in that region, and the amount of crime in the region. Although the preconditions were determined nationally, the regional forces were able to implement their own policies to a large extent. In this way, each corps made its own choices in the field of ICT, which became a notorious problem over the years.


National Police Services Agency
In addition to the regional forces, there was the National Police Services Agency (KLPD), consisting of the following services:

  • Traffic police service
  • Water police service
  • Railway police service
  • Operational Cooperation Service
  • National Criminal Investigation Service
  • IPOL service
  • Royal and Diplomatic Security Service
  • Special Interventions service
  • Specialist Criminal Investigation Service


The KLPD was concerned with, among other things, maintaining road safety on motorways, on the railways, on water and in the air, combating serious and organized crime, and maintaining the safety of the Royal House, diplomats and politicians.

National police formation
In April 2011, the Ministry of Security and Justice, set up shortly before, announced plans to completely overthrow the police system. Eventually the Police Act 2012 came into effect on January 1, 2013. It determined that all 26 police forces (25 regional forces and the KLPD) merged into one national police force, with a headquarters in The Hague and divided into ten regional units, a national unit and a police service center, under a single-headed leadership. This should reduce bureaucracy and 'administrative pressure' and lead to more effective investigation.

In practice, the formation of the national corps took several years. A large number of police officers had to apply for a new position because the old position was canceled. The expected end date for the reorganization in 2015 had to be postponed to 2018. The operation also cost twice as much money as expected. Trade unions criticized the excessive uncertainty with which the agents were struggling during this period, which also resulted in higher absenteeism. .



The national police force consists of ten regional units, a national unit and a police service center. The National Police headquarters is located in The Hague. .

In the event of a crisis, there is cooperation with the fire brigade and ambulance services in the relevant safety region, and with other government services.

The police fall under the administrative responsibility of the Ministry of Security and Justice. The competent authority on the spot is formed by the mayor of the municipality in question (with regard to public order and security) and the (chief) public prosecutor (with regard to investigation and investigation).

Regional units

The 11 units (10 regional + 1 national) on the map, situation as of 2019.
The 10 regional units perform all operational police tasks, except tasks that require special expertise and tasks that can be carried out more efficiently or cheaper on a national basis. These tasks fall under the National Unit. All regional units are arranged as unambiguously as possible. A police chief leads a regional unit (RE).

The following 10 units have replaced the former 25 regional forces: 

  1. Noord-Nederland
  2. Oost-Nederland
  3. Midden-Nederland
  4. Noord-Holland
  5. Amsterdam
  6. Den Haag
  7. Rotterdam
  8. Zeeland - West-Brabant
  9. Oost-Brabant
  10. Limburg

The working areas of these regions always include the full working area of ​​a number of security regions (with the same working areas as the former police forces listed in the table), and correspond to the working areas of the judicial division of the Netherlands into districts (see there for the precise description in terms of territories of provinces and municipalities), except that the Eastern Netherlands Regional Unit combines the working areas of the Overijssel and Gelderland districts.

A regional unit consists of: [6]

  • Districts
  • Regional Operational Center service
  • Regional Investigation Service
  • Regional Information Organization Service (incl. TCI and RID)
  • Regional and Operational Cooperation Service
  • Service Operations
  • Staff

A district in turn consists of:

  • Basic teams
  • District Investigation
  • Flex team

The tasks of the basic teams are:

first point of contact;
handling emergency aid and non-urgent reports, under central control of the control room;
investigation focused on common crime;
enforcement: youth, domestic violence, events, hospitality, mental healthcare, traffic, immigration control, environmental and enforcement tasks.
Basic teams have investigative capacity for tackling common crime. However, the district investigation department is responsible for tackling offenses with a major impact. It provides support to the basic teams. For anti-gay sexual violence, there is a network of Pink in Blue within each regional unit.

Police Force BES