- Category: News
- Created on Friday, 17 August 2012 11:30
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Opstelten told NOS he wanted to tackle the problem of late-night street violence and attacks on the emergency services, which are often fuelled by drink and drugs.
At the moment drink and drug tests are voluntary and those who fail them can expect a heavier punishment when their case comes to court. As a result, many suspects refuse to co-operate.
Figures released yesterday showed that the number of reported attacks on ambulance workers had doubled in two years, from 145 in 2009 to 289 last year.
Koos Reumer, of the ambulance service Ambulancezorg Nederland, said the increase in cases of verbal abuse, physical violence and sexual intimidation was mainly due to better reporting procedures.
“We have done a lot of work on this and an increase is the logical result,” he said.
Opstelten wants to change the law so that refusing to take a test would count as disobeying an order of a legal officer and form part of the case against them.
He said: “If they don’t want to co-operate, that will be written into the charge and give a negative impression.
“As well as that it’s a refusal to follow the instruction of an officer in the course of his duty, which can lead to prosecution. So it’s a double blow.”