Rotterdam is planning to fine the parents of youngsters found to be carrying knives up to €2,500, as local officials continue to get tough on knife crime.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told Radio Rijnmond that he backed bringing in fines because he was fed up with disinterested parents who do not take the issue seriously when confronted by the police about their children.
‘I want to reach these parents,’ he told the AD. ‘The first time their child is caught with a knife they will get a warning. The second time they will have to cough up €2,500.’
On Monday, the mayors of Nissewaard and Ridderkerk, both in Zuid-Holland province like Rotterdam, 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.
Aboutaleb said he understood that the mayors want new legislation but that he also understood why justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus says the solution lay in better preventive measures.
‘After all, what is a knife?’ he said. ‘A potato peeler? And does that mean scouts would also be affected?’
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