Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus Tell a Friend
Home| Columns| Features| International| In Dutch| Dictionary| What's On| Jobs| Housing| Expats| Blogs| Books
««« previousnext »»»

Amsterdam plans caravan exile for nasty neighbours

Friday 30 November 2012

Problem families who engage in long-running and structural intimidation of their neighbours face being moved to caravans in isolated parts of the city under a new plan drawn up by Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan.

A special team of city hall officials is being set up to identify the worst offenders and if their behaviour does not improve, they face eviction and rehousing in containers with 'minimal services', the Parool states.

They would remain in the dwellings under the supervision of police and social workers for six months.

The council is investing €1m in the project to tackle neighbourhood intimidation, the paper says. The project also involves setting up a special system for victims to report their problems.


The Parool points out that such moves are not new. In the 19th century, troublemakers were moved to special villages in Drenthe and Overijssel. These projects were rarely successful.

'We have learned from the past,' Van der Laan's spokesman Bartho Boer told the paper. 'A neighbourhood can deal with one problem family but if there are more the situation escalates.'

Last year, Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, called for the setting up of special 'scum villages' to house persistent troublemakers.

Bartho denied the new project would create 'scum villages'. 'But the aim is not to reward people who behave badly with a new five-room home with a south-facing garden. This is supposed to be a deterrent,' he said.

There have already been several small-scale experiments in the Netherlands, including in Amsterdam, where several shipping container homes were set aside for persistent offenders.

A good idea? Use the comment box below to have your say

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Very good idea. I just wish that all council would do it.

By dee | 30 November 2012 11:06 AM

What if these nasty neighbors actually own their home? Bad beahvior is not limited to people who rent.

By Al | 30 November 2012 11:17 AM

It really is just using Wilders idea for modern day concentration camps.

By jason buttle | 30 November 2012 11:53 AM

...or they could use the money and resources to invest in affordable homes for non troublemakers.

By vah | 30 November 2012 12:31 PM

superb idea .. but who will decide what constitutes a "long running and structural intimdation" ?? 5 yrs? 10 yrs?

By Neil | 30 November 2012 12:40 PM

@AI: they could then sue the homeowner for the troubles caused. And losing money is a powerful deterrent. In any case, most persistent troublemakers, if adults, almost always lack the personal skills to succeed and are unlikely to be able to afford mortgages anyways.

By A.L. | 30 November 2012 3:52 PM

In the UK these families are called "neighbors from hell" they are usually evicted from their homes and re-housed in the worst area of towns or a caravan site.

By almorr | 30 November 2012 4:50 PM

I thought NL was trying to erase redneck trailer parks, not create new ones...?

Why not reeducate, lack of education is the culprit.

By The visitor | 30 November 2012 5:30 PM

I like how the next news article in the headlines is "Police clear Amsterdam refugee camp,
A protest camp in Amsterdam that was home to around 100 failed asylum seekers was cleared by police on Friday morning following a court order", especially after this one lol

By Martin Treadgold | 30 November 2012 5:49 PM

Very good idea..

We don't talk about large numbers, and probably families facing already several charges of vandalism, terrorizing neighbours, etc.

Landlords can end contract but not without court, and city still being responsible for housing them - always such a dilemma.

Think is a win-win situation, it's an experiment worth it. Similair housing experiments turned out to be succesfull, working with small clusters and not placing them somewhere outside the community.

By voice in my head | 30 November 2012 11:16 PM

@The visitor: you can't force an adult who is very disruptive, but not a criminal, to "reeducate" himself. I think putting them on these supervised areas is a lesser evil than either do nothing and let them lash out on neighbors freely; or sending them to prisons.

By A.L. | 1 December 2012 2:10 AM

What a rediculous idea. Is the gov going to hand out books with a code of conduct? Besides the fact these concentration camps have been proven NOT to work? I personally think it will only create bigger scale problems!

By Mies | 1 December 2012 3:06 AM

Yes, great idea, so the children in those families will definitely grow up us good boys, with no resentment against anybody <3 <3 <3

By Balalaika | 1 December 2012 9:42 AM

It's worth noting a PVV councillor (white collar guy) stepped down/as removed from his post after it was revealed he had a police record for being such a neighbour from hell.

Intimidating neightbours come from all walks of life - they are not restricted to the lowest socioeconomic groups. Quite often they are rich, trying to exert control over their neighbours in the same way they run a company or department - powerfreaks are just as likely to be found (and in the same numbers) in t'Gooi as they are in any caravan park.

By osita | 1 December 2012 10:41 AM

Amsterdam plans caravan exile for nasty neighbours. In my neighbourhood it’s not the four seated children’s push chairs or the genetically deformed people whose hobby seems to be making children that disturb me. Condescendingly I think about the women warring a "hijab", where do they get there vitamin D? What disturbs me is the young boys in the public gardens in front of my house eating there Kebab and leaving it half eaten with the package in the garden. As for the Amsterdam plans, these are extreme measures and should take immediate priority second only to the rubbish in the garden before my house.

By Terence Hale | 1 December 2012 10:59 AM

How does one evict someone from a home they own, or do they force the mortgage provider to fall in the
mortgage first?

Did I miss something here?

By Me | 1 December 2012 1:25 PM

...coming from Eberhard van der Laan it is guaranteed that the irrefutable objective evidence to prove long-running and structural intimidation will be entirely based on ethnicity.

That obviously will trigger another reprimand against The Netherlands from the European Court of Human Rights.

By a.v.d.i | 2 December 2012 1:52 AM

We had some neighbors who match the criteria; intimidating and aggressive drug dealing legal residents. After several confrontations, with police called out in the night, we decided to sell and leave the area. The other neighbors, in their rent controlled apartments, are trapped there, afraid. They told us apologetically that they would never dare make statements against those people; The perpetrators always have the right to return to their apartment after serving their sentence.

By Mark Holden | 2 December 2012 8:23 AM

@Me: those troublemakers are almost always renters. If they own houses, they can be sued in civil courts and be required to pay large fines.

By A.L. | 3 December 2012 11:53 PM

Does anyone know which villages they were in Overijssel and Drente that were used for this purposed in the 19th Century?

By DutchOz | 4 December 2012 12:54 AM

@DutchOz, Veenhuizen in Drente.

By pepe | 4 December 2012 9:19 AM

You're kidding me right? Smacks of Nazi era tactics to me. Let's round up all the undesirables and force them into ghetto conditions. When that "corrective" action doesn't work, let's then force them into "labor" camps.
That'll fix things. Not.

By Sally | 4 December 2012 5:09 PM

Actually they didn't learn anything from the past, they are going to try it again. Many values in this country is quite medieval and gray.

By Chen | 5 December 2012 6:37 AM

Seems to me that this is a system tailor-made for abuse and corruption. People find neighbors "undesirable" for all sorts of reasons. Some may truly be "neighbors from hell." Some may just have different cultural or social values. Some may just be the wrong color.

By Bodie P | 5 December 2012 9:37 AM

@Chen: it is easy to just bash the city council, ignoring that the alternative (sending them to regular prisons for peace disturbance) is a much worse alternative for all parties involved.

By A.L. | 5 December 2012 11:49 AM

Newsletter| RSS| Advertising| Business services| Mobile| Friends| Privacy| Contact| About us| Tell a Friend
Apartments for rent Rondvaart - Amsterdam