Sunday 17 October 2021

Ministers pledge action on street youth

Ministers have pledged to meet local officials in areas where a lot of immigrants live in an effort to reduce the nuisance caused by gangs of Dutch Moroccan youths.

In a heated debate in parliament on Thursday night, home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst and justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin said they would meet mayors to discuss measures that could be taken to address the situation.
One option under consideration is the setting up of special teams, including police officers with experience of dealing with problem youths, which could move into an area if trouble breaks out.
No-go area
The debate follows growing unease about the behaviour of a group of Dutch Moroccan youths in Gouda, whom some say are making parts of the city a no-go area.
In a memo to parliament earlier in the day, the ministers pledged that no-one would be able to get away with making the streets unsafe.
Youths of Moroccan origin are over-represented in the crime figures, the ministers said, pointing out that they were also more likely to have left school early and be unemployed. Nevertheless, this was not an excuse for unacceptable behaviour, the ministers said.
Verbal violence
The NRC reports that MPs used ‘verbal violence’ to debate the problems. ‘We should not pamper them but bang our fists on the table,’ Labour MP Attje Kuiken was reported as saying.
Hero Brinkman, a former Amsterdam police officer and now MP for the anti-immigration PVV, said he was sick of ‘multicultural contaminated babble’.
‘People are being spat on and sworn at, and what does the mayor do? He drinks tea with Moroccan scum,’ the paper quoted him as saying.
And Laetitia Griffith of the right-wing Liberals (VVD) accused ministers of ignoring the situation. ‘The country is on fire and you are doing nothing,’ the NRC quoted her as saying.

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