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.
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