Saturday 18 September 2021

Local politicians call for ban on teenagers carrying knives


Two local mayors have called for under-18s to be banned from carrying knives following a spate of stabbings involving teenagers.

The mayors of Nissewaard and Ridderkerk, both in Zuid-Holland province, said the law should be changed to make it clear knife crime is socially unacceptable. ‘We think this is the right time to send out a signal to national politicians,’ said Nissewaard mayor Foort van Oosten.

Van Oosten said a number of incidents nationwide, such as the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old boy in Drachten for which two boys aged 14 and 15 were arrested, demonstrate the need for a more hands-on approach.

The mayors say changing the law would allow police to carry out preventive searches in areas where knife crime is common.

Some types of knife are already banned, while others can be carried as long as they are contained in protective packaging.

A majority of MPs have expressed support for tightening the law on bladed weapons, but justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said the solution lay in better preventive measures.

‘You can go out into the streets with a vegetable knife and act in a completely unacceptable way and stab somebody,’ he said. ‘We also need to look at how dangerous situations can be prevented in certain areas.’

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