Amsterdam police chief Bernard Welten will not order his officers to arrest women wearing a burqa when the government introduces a ban, he told a tv show.
Police officers should always be sensible, Welten said. “I do not always consider myself an instrument of the government who should immediately do what I am told”, he is quoted as saying. It is “a very complicated dilemma”, he said, adding that the role of the police is to protect freedom, equality and justice.
Hero Brinkman, a former policeman and MP for the anti-Islam PVV told the Telegraaf Welten’s comments are unacceptable. The police should be subject to the government’s will, he said, “otherwise we live in a banana republic”.
Update: See “Coalition furious at police chief’s burqa comments”, Dutch News, 5 January 2011