Prison ship to sail into Rotterdam

27th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 February 2004, AMSTERDAM — In a few weeks, Rotterdam will take possession of the first prison ship in the Netherlands. The floating detention centre will become home to illegal immigrants awaiting deportation and recidivist criminals, it was reported on Friday.

27 February 2004

AMSTERDAM — In a few weeks, Rotterdam will take possession of the first prison ship in the Netherlands. The floating detention centre will become home to illegal immigrants awaiting deportation and recidivist criminals, it was reported on Friday.

Mayor Ivo Opstelten has confirmed to Rotterdam-based daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that negotiations to secure the ship are at an advanced stage.

The ship's first residents will be illegal immigrants being held pending expulsion and repeat offenders. At a later stage, ordinary prisoners might also be detained on the ship, Opstelten said.

Speaking during a working visit to the port city by Interior Minister Johan Remkes, the mayor said the ship was needed as the city had a severe shortage of cells.

In response, Remkes said he would pledge Rotterdam's case with Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner for extra cash to build more cells on land.

The main purpose of the interior minister's visit to Rotterdam was to discuss the contract on performance targets agreed on in February 2003 between the city's police department and his ministry.

Remkes said police effectiveness had increased and the port city had become a safer place in the past 12 months. Rotterdam was the first of the country's 25 police departments to sign such a contract.

Rotterdam police chief Aad Meijboom agreed in his introduction to his department's annual report that Rotterdam had become safer due to more blue on the streets.

He said a higher number of offenders were being apprehended and prosecuted and as a result the number of robberies and muggings had declined.

The Algemeen Dagblad reported that the Justice Ministry had awarded EUR 2.3 million extra to the court system in Rotterdam because of the increasing number of cases being dealt with.

Courts in Rotterdam dealt with 143,000 cases in 2003, up 23 percent on the 117,000 cases the previous year. The figures include criminal and bankruptcy cases.

The additional funds supplied by the ministry will be used to hire additional staff to cope with the higher workload and to help reduce delays in hearing cases.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + crime

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