Amsterdam police chief reluctant to enforce veil ban, Wilders’ party not happy

The far-right anti-Islam Freedom Party PVV, which props up the minority government in parliament, has demanded that the Dutch police corps enforce the burqa ban. The PVV is supported by Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten on the issue.

PVV MP Joram van Klaveren was speaking on Sunday in response to remarks made by the chief of Amsterdam’s police corps, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, on national TV talk show Eva Jinek op Zondag. Mr Aalbersberg said it should be left up to the police officer on duty to decide whether or not to write out a ticket for a Muslim wearing a burqa or niqab. The police chief added issuing a warning should also be an option.

The burqa ban in the Netherlands has stirred up a national debate. Earlier, other police chiefs from various Dutch corps announced they did not intend enforcing the new law when it is passed.

The lower and upper houses of parliament still have to vote on the legislation which will ban all clothing which covers a face in public.

The burqa ban was part of the PVV’s election programme and its implementation was part of a deal negotiated by the Freedom Party and the coalition partners, the conservative VVD and the Christian Democrats. Geert Wilders’ party gives parliamentary support to the minority government.

RNW, 5 February 2012