Police get tough, arrest eight youths

Amsterdam police arrested eight youths in the western suburb of Slotervaart on Wednesday night in a get-tough campaign to prevent further trouble breaking out in the area.

Three cars have been set on fire and there have been other minor disturbances following Sunday’s fatal shooting at the local police station. Bilal B., who had a history of mental illness, was shot dead inside the building after attacking two police officers with a knife.
Since then, community leaders have urged the police to get tough on potential troublemakers and urged parents to keep their children indoors.
Three of those arrested on Wednesday night, aged 18 and 19, were found with jerry cans full of petrol. Five others, aged 20 to 32, were taken into custody on suspicion of planning to cause trouble, a police spokesman said on Thursday.
Later on Wednesday a car was set on fire close to the police station, news agency ANP reported. Despite the car blaze and heavy police presence, the area was mainly quiet, police said.
On Wednesday, local council chairman Ahmed Marcouch called on the police to get tougher on the troublemakers – a hard core of some 20 to 30 youths, most of whom are known to the police.
The Parool reports that right-wing politicians criticised mayor Job Cohen for not acting quickly enough to stamp out the trouble. They called for the immediate introduction of stop and search tactics, and street bans for known suspects.

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