Amsterdam parents forced to rein in delinquent youths

8th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Parents are to receive compulsory help in raising their delinquent children in a pilot project launched in Amsterdam West.

THE NETHERLANDS – Parents of young criminals in Amsterdam West, a district which is notorious for high juvenile crime levels, are to receive compulsory help in bringing up their children.

In a pilot scheme in the suburb, the parents of teenage lawbreakers aged between 12 and 15 years old will have to report to the local police station to draw up a "risk assessment" of their home situation, de Volkskrant reports.

Youths will receive a speedy punishment on the basis of the risk assessment and be monitored by social workers who will try to prevent them from falling into a downward spiral of criminal behaviour. Families, if deemed necessary, may also be monitored by social services.

Streets gangs in Amsterdam’s western suburbs are notorious. In February, the Kolenkitbuurt district was featured on a government urban renewal list as the 'worst neighbourhood in the Netherlands'. However, an annual police assessment released Wednesday shows police efforts are bearing fruit and the number of hardcore gang members is falling.

The EUR 2.5 million scheme, which will last for two years, was launched by Amsterdam city council on Tuesday.

While on a ‘incognito’ visits to two families in Amsterdam West whose children have committed crimes, Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin said he wants to stop families from “looking the other way” and believe that compulsory intervention with continuous monitoring prevents a criminal career.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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