"Elder gangs are not a problem"
It now emerges that "elder gangs" are not really a problem.13 February 2008
UTRECHT – "Gangs" of pensioners hanging about on the streets do not pose any problem to society and do not cause any trouble, according to Dutch news reports on Wednesday. The organisation Movisie has concluded this on the basis of research into the perceived problem of pensioners hanging around on the streets in groups. The Netherlands is home to about 70,000 to 90,000 elderly that congregate in this way.
Movisie concluded that reports on troublemaking by these groups are exaggerated. Conversations with residents and passers by give a different picture. "Their presence in fact exercises social control and livens up the area. Since they are familiar with their cities, villages and neighbourhoods, they often prove useful in giving directions."
The phenomenon of "elder gangs" was first in the news in 2005 when the municipality of Oude Pekela issued a ban on assembly for pensioners because they were reportedly causing nuisance in the covered shopping centre.
In the end a special meeting place was set up for the pensioners. Research by Motivaction showed at the time that almost a third of those surveyed said they were annoyed about the pensioners congregating.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news