Dutch minister proposes two-year area ban for troublemakers
Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten will later this week submit a bill to parliament which, if passed, would enable judges to impose a two-year area ban on people causing serious problems in their districts.
The previous cabinet already began investigating the possibility of banning notorious troublemakers from their districts in case of agression, violence or other forms of criminal or anti-social behaviour. At present, area bans can only be imposed as one of the conditions of a conditional jail sentence.
The area ban will in future also be available as a separate measure or in addition to a fine, a community service sentence or a term of imprisonment. Under the new law, an area ban would take effect immeditately after sentencing. Mr Van Opstelten's bill would also allows judges to impose a duty to report regularly to the police and a restraining order.
These restrictions of freedom can be imposed after a violent crime, but also in case of less serious crimes posing a threat to public order. For instance, unlawful assembly, loitering near roads and buildings and using alcohol or drugs in public. The proposed measures can also be imposed on a suspect to protect witnesses to a crime.
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