It is not the first time that problems arise with immigrant youth in the recreation pool in Beveren. According to mayor Van de Vijver it's the same kids who repeatedly cause problems at the recreation area De Ster in Sint-Niklaas. The situation in Beveren has recently escalated, says the city council.
"During the Easter vacation 80% of the visitors were immigrant and they terrorized other visitors," accord gin to the mayor. "From pestering other children to sexual intimidation. They also totally didn't abide by the rules, coming to swim in underpants and taking in various foods into the pool which doesn't help hygiene."
Meanwhile the municipality got many complaints from concerned parents. In one case two kids were threatened and stayed for hours in the pool since they didn't dare come out.
"We can't tolerate this sort of behaviour any longer," stresses the mayor. The municipality is therefore adopting a range of regulations. In the weekends, on Wednesday afternoon [when school lets off early] and during vacation period there will be two guards who will check the identity of the visitors. Whoever causes trouble will be put on a blacklist. The first infringement will lead to a month ban. Whoever causes problems a second time risks a 6 month ban and a third time means definite exclusion. That can also happen faster by weighty facts. There will also be a zero-tolerance policy in the area of the swimming pool and on the buses to the sport area.
The police will pick up troublemakers immediately and send them back towards Antwerp. Even if they won't be identified, the entire group would be sent out. Further, the parents of the youth would be contacted, as well as the Moroccan community in Antwerp. As a last measure, the mayor says that he will dramatically increase prices for non-residents. However, this would only be done if there's no other choice as it will affect also residents in neighboring municipalities.
Source: HLN (Dutch)