Refugee centre staff face intimidation from no-hoper asylum seekers

Accommodation for refugees at Ter Apel in Drenthe.
Photo: Justice ministry

Refugee centre staff have sent an urgent appeal to the refugee settlement agency COA calling for steps to improve their safety.

In particular, the presence of large groups of young men from north Africa, who have little hope of winning refugee status, is causing problems, the AD quotes the works council letter as saying.

Staff feel intimidated by ‘anti-social and criminal behaviour’ and urgent action is needed, the paper said. According to one worker, the asylum seekers steal, take drugs, drink and play loud music.

‘We’ve reached the limit,’ the letter said. ‘Immediate action is necessary.’

In the 10 months to the end of October, 1,743 people from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia claimed asylum in the Netherlands, compared with 206 in 2015 as a whole.

EU countries

All are considered safe third countries and most of the men have already tried and failed to win asylum in other EU countries, the AD said.

Last week, junior immigration minister Klaas Dijkhoff said he is taking steps to ensure no-hopers are sent back to their country of origin as soon as possible. He has also stopped the payment of special grants to help them settle back home.

Last month a spate of pick-pocketing in Groningen city centre prompted the city’s mayor to call for the speedy deportation of criminal asylum seekers who come from safe third countries.

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