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Safety inMaastricht

Safe public task

Aggression and violence against officials with public duties undermines authority.

Officials with public duties are regularly confronted with aggression and violence during the performance of their duties. Persons with whom they are dealing, either directly, can become intimidating, threatening or even violent. This, for several reasons, is unacceptable. This behaviour influences the officer’s ability to do his/her work. It is detrimental to the performance of public duties, imposes pressure on integrity and sound administration, and can damage trust in the authorities. Moreover, tolerating aggression/violence makes the offenders only more untouchable. Aggression and violence against officials with public duties undermines authority: it must be tackled firmly and prevented whenever possible.

In 2005, the then Government announced its Actieplan tegen geweld (action plan against violence) that laid down a more targeted and society-wide approach to violence. In 2006, this resulted in the preparation of a national Aanpak agressie en geweld tegen werknemers met publieke taken (action plan to tackle aggression and violence against officials with public duties).

The Veilige Publieke Taak (VPT, safe public duties) programme was launched in 2010, with what are referred to as ‘VPT regions’. The municipalities, police, Public Prosecution Service, and employers in these regions cooperate in the approach to tackling aggression and violence against officials with public duties. This is based on three main elements, namely:

  • promoting the local administrative approach and promoting the approach adopted by employers and officials on the basis of the eight national VPT measures;
  • developing the preventive approach to aggression and violence in more detail;
  • implementing the offender-focused approach.