Tougher approach to disruptive youth

12th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 November 2007, AMSTERDAM – Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is positive towards a proposal from the city of Amsterdam to crack down on troublemakers harder, and when they are younger. This emerged on Monday after the minister's working visit to the city district of Slotervaart, where groups of youth have recently caused a great deal of unrest and destruction of property.

12 November 2007

AMSTERDAM – Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is positive towards a proposal from the city of Amsterdam to crack down on troublemakers harder, and when they are younger. This emerged on Monday after the minister's working visit to the city district of Slotervaart, where groups of youth have recently caused a great deal of unrest and destruction of property.

Hirsch Ballin says there is too great a chance that young people in Amsterdam will repeat the incidents of a few weeks ago. That is why he wants to look into the possibility of taking troublemakers off the streets for a longer time, by requiring them to attend education in addition to their penalty for crimes, for instance.

The minister also wants to look into whether children under the age of 12 who are clearly headed down the wrong path can be addressed sooner. Hirsch Ballin thinks the so-called chain approach, in which various institutions in the area of justice, police and care cooperate, is a good start. "But new powers are also needed to realise this," he said.

Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen says it must be possible to deal strictly with young people as soon as they show signs of criminal behaviour. "So no light penalties initially like a measure or fine, but a serious penalty combined with care. The non-committal tone must be got rid of."

The mayor also wants powers that allow him to tackle individuals and families that refuse to cooperate. This will allow him to remove a family from their home if they fail to cooperate with efforts to stop trouble being caused by family members, says city district chairman Ahmed Marcouch. The Amsterdam politicians hope that Hirsch Ballin will agree to this.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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