Maastricht mayor takes on street drug dealers

Maastricht mayor Onno Hoes on Thursday declared a fight back against the growing violence caused by street drug dealers.

Street violence and agression has been growing since the introduction last year of a law banning cannabis cafes, known as coffee shops, to sell soft drugs to non-residents.

Hoes told Nos tv the level of agression from drugs runners has reached unacceptable levels. He is allocating extra police agents to the problem with immediate effect and is increasing the number of volunteer community police in the affected areas.

The ban was introduced in the southern provinces last May and went nationwide at the beginning of this year.

However, many cities, including Amsterdam, have said they will take advantage of provisions in the law to tailor-make policies for their own situations. In effect this means tourists have not been banned from the capital’s coffee shops.