Dutch government spends more on prisons and judicial procedures

Dutch government spending on public order and security amounted to 11.3 billion euro in 2007. This is 6 percent more than in 2006. The prison system and administration of justice in particular cost more.

Government spending on public order and security

Government spending on public order and security

Prisons cost substantially more

Government spending on the prison system rose by nearly 12 percent to 2.3 billion euro last year. One third of this increase was accounted for the funding of places in forensic care institutions. The financing of these places has been transferred from the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act  (AWBZ) to the department responsible for custodial institutions. Wage costs in this department also rose by more than 50 million euro as a result of contractual wage rises and the addition of 500 new full-time jobs. Lastly, the department also earmarked more money for the improvement of fire prevention measures in custodial institutions, and insourcing staff.

Spending on judicial procedures rising more quickly

The costs of administration of justice rose by 6.4 percent in 2007, to nearly 2.2 billon euro. In 2006, the increase in these costs was just over 3 percent. The growth doubled mainly as a result of the increase in support staff in courts. Also, in spite of a slight decrease in the number of solicitors assigned to defendants, the costs of legal aid increased. Extra funding was further given to the Public Prosecutor’s office for staff, information technology and improvement programmes for criminal investigation and prosecution.

More money for the police

The police received the largest amount (4.8 billion euro) within public order and security in 2007. The costs of the police force rose by 5.6 percent last year. This was connected with contractual wage costs and the addition to the police force of nearly 1,100 full-time jobs, bringing the number to 54.7 thousand in 2007. More was also spent on insourcing IT experts and the acquisition of transport and other equipment.

Spending on fire services remains unchanged

The Dutch government spent 1.1 billion euro on fire and emergency services last year. This is roughly the same amount as in the year before. Spending on fire services rose by more than 7 percent in the period 2002-2006. This was the consequence of an increase in the number of paid workers, higher expenses for volunteer workers, and quality improvement for equipment.

Per capita government spending on public order and security and inflation

Per capita government spending on public order and security and inflation

An average 690 euro per person spent on public order and security

Public order and security cost 690 euro per inhabitant of the Netherlands in 2007. In 2002 it cost 538 euro per inhabitant. This is an increase of more than 28 percent in the space of five years. After correction for inflation, the increase comes to 18.8 percent.

Fred Arkesteijn and Wouter Jonkers