The number of violent incidents reported in and around asylum seekers’ centres rose dramatically in the first six months of this year, official figures show.
Between January and June 502 incidents were reported to police, compared to 377 in the whole of 2015. The COA, the organisation in charge of accommodating refugees, logged 2803 instances of aggression and violence, including 1252 reports of physical violence.
NOS reported that junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff attributed the increase to the strain placed on asylum seekers’ accommodation by the rapid increase in numbers over the last 12 months. Over the last six months the total population of accommodation centres has averaged 43,000. Long waiting lists and limited privacy have contributed to tension between residents, according to Dijkhoff.
The majority of incidents reported to police concerned physical violence that caused no permanent injury and threats. In 166 cases the prosecution service investigated the incident, including three allegations of sexual offences.
One in six violent incidents were directed towards police or accommodation service staff. Dijkhoff said 16 residency permits had been refused or withdrawn this year after an asylum seeker was convicted of an offence.
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