Training institutes see that interest in their training to become an extraordinary investigative officer (boa) has increased during the corona crisis. The Dutch also have a more positive view of the work of enforcers, say the home trainers. This is evident from a tour of NU.nl by three large training institutes.
Training institute NHA received 45 percent more registrations for boa education in the past three months than in the same period last year, says Jos Peeters of NHA. Interest in the work has increased, he says, because boas have recently become “more in the picture”.
For example, enforcers help police officers write out corona fines during the corona crisis. At the same time, the number of incidents of violence against boas, who were not equipped with weapons to defend themselves, also increased.
Nevertheless, they also see an increased interest in their boa education at the LOI educational institution since the corona outbreak in the Netherlands.
According to LOI’s Jan Jelle Bouma, the number of registrations at the beginning of this year was still below the level of the same period in 2019. “But in April a fairly remarkable peak was visible, which was twice as high as the same month last year. the month of March even amounts to almost tripling “, says Bouma, who speaks of a” corona effect “.
The Study Center for Public Safety (SPV) has not yet peaked, says Thedo Keizer of the SPV. However, the trainer says he expects “an increasing demand for boa courses in the near future”.
‘Prejudice of milking jobs has been pierced’
Although there is more enthusiasm for boa courses, it cannot be said unequivocally that this is entirely due to the corona crisis. For example, they see at NHA that candidates have also enrolled for the program for various reasons other than corona. Corona is often not even mentioned in the motivations of applicants, according to Peeters.
However, according to Keizer, we cannot ignore the fact that “the corona crisis has given large parts of the Netherlands more insight into the work of enforcers, because they were in the news a lot. The outdated idea that they are only milking jobs has been shattered by this,” says he.
The milk jobs that Keizer refers to were subsidized jobs in the 1990s, enabling unskilled unemployed people to work as city guards or boas, for example. As a result, boas were not taken seriously for years.
Boas have been campaigning in several cities in recent months to demand defenses. (Photo: Pro Shots)
‘Actions have earned respect’
Nowadays, boas must be MBO-trained. Nevertheless, the image of boa as a dorky parking attendant persisted for a long time. However, according to Ruud Kuin, union president of the Boa Bond, the corona period has removed many of those prejudices from the general public.
Protests, during which the union advocated equipping boas with a baton and pepper spray to defend themselves for over a year, have led to “greater respect for enforcers and knowledge of the work they do,” said Kuin.
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