Organized crime largely invisible at northern Dutch ports

The police and other enforcement organizations have little to no insights into organized crime at the northern seaports – Eemshaven, Delfzijl, Lauwersoog and Harlingen. There are few checks and controls and hardly any supervision, according to a study by Pro Facto on behalf of Police and Science.

According to Pro Facto, there is no concrete evidence that there is organized crime at these ports, but it seems likely that this is the case. “The limited degree of supervision and the largely public nature of the ports provide opportunities for criminal activities that are becoming increasingly difficult in the larger ports,” the research agency said.

A major problem is that the authorities like the police, Koninklijke Marechaussee, customs, Inspectorates and municipalities have little to no insight into what is going on at the northern ports when it comes to organized crime. This means they have no concrete information based on which to give the ports more priority. And as a result, organized crime can continue unnoticed

“There is a vicious circle. The northern seaports are not a priority for the police and therefore no active and structured investment is made to obtain good information. As a result, there are no targeted checks and actions that reveal suspicious cases, so the subject is not given priority,” the researchers said. “That circle must be broken.”