Cohen tightens up evacuation policy

8th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2007, AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen has decided that from now on unannounced evacuations of squats may also take place if necessary.

8 November 2007

AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen has decided that from now on unannounced evacuations of squats may also take place if necessary.

This will allow the riot police to conduct interim evacuations in addition to the regular rounds of evacuations, he said during a committee meeting on Public Order and Safety on Thursday.

Cohen is tightening up policy after recent evacuations in the centre of Amsterdam in which squatters put up fierce resistance and erected barricades. They also had installed a device in one building that had the aim of causing injury or even death to members of the evacuation squad, police say.

The mayor concluded that the squatters are becoming increasingly fierce in their battle with police. "The sad conclusion is that the current evacuation policy no longer suffices," Cohen said. Since evacuations have until now been announced in advance, squatters have been able to set up competent barricades. Cohen wants to change this by making the policy stricter.

The mayor also announced on Thursday that Amsterdam residents can now report suspected real estate fraud and criminal landlords to the municipality's Zoeklicht Bureau (Searchlight Agency). An investigation may be launched if there is enough evidence. This announcement was in answer to claims from squatters that many owners of empty buildings are dubious property speculators.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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