The transfer took place with asylum seekers who wanted to report to Ter Apel, but for whom there was no place due to the reception crisis. They were rushed unchecked in coaches to emergency shelters elsewhere. That is against the agreements: aliens must first give fingerprints, show documents to the police and take a photo before they can be transported and received. According to NRC sources, about 1,200 asylum seekers have been sent on in this way since May. The fear is that this could happen again if it gets too busy in Ter Apel.
In May, the police will have had enough and the organization will leave an ‘important crisis meeting’ with, among others, the COA, the Immigration Service IND and the Ministry of Justice and Security, the newspaper reports. The police felt left to their own devices, because the COA had promised to move asylum seekers in a different way. The parties are now back at the table, the police confirm to the NRC. And the registration backlog is being made up quickly, she says.
It is not clear whether the mobile identification and registration teams of asylum seekers have actually started working in the various emergency reception locations. Sources report to the NRC that this is not yet the case because there is still discussion about this. For example, the police would not just want to send their staff everywhere and nowhere, but only want to register in Ter Apel and Budel.
The battle between the COA and the police has been going on for some time. A year and a half ago, then Minister of Justice Ferd Grapperhaus (CDA) promised a system in which COA would enter the location data of residents into an (already existing) system on a daily basis. The police state that the COA has never done this – despite repeated requests. This ensures that the police do not have a picture of who is where and that they have to request this information per reception location, which creates ‘extra time and actions and is not ideal’.
The COA states that the data is kept up to date, but due to ‘capacity shortages and the various forms of reception’ at COA, the police may not always know who can be found where.
The unrest about the registration of refugees started after it turned out in 2020 that the registration of name, age, religion, ethnicity and country of origin, among other things, was illegal. This data had to be erased from the police systems. However, the police continued to try to force the delivery of this information to COA, because it thought it might miss signals about human trafficking or terrorism. These attempts were fruitless.
In 2021, Grapperhaus wrote about a solution that allowed the police and COA to share data, but this is still incomplete, the newspaper writes.