Dutch minister wants to link crime and ethnicity

Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst has proposed that police and judicial authorities be allowed to register the ethnic background of criminals. At the moment, only the nationality or birthplace of suspects are registered in the Netherlands. Ter Horst said that she believes that this would not create or propagate stigmas of certain ethnic groups, but would point to important and realistic trends. “If you want to solve a problem you have to know who is causing it. And if in Amsterdam it’s mostly Moroccans, then you have to give it a name. Otherwise you lose information. Moreover, you can also get the Moroccan community involved” said ter Horst. The Social and Cultural Planning Office is currently studying the need for ethnic backgrounds in registrations; in December, it will report to the Integration Minister on the idea.

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