After the latest attack of aggression, De Lijn bus drivers had decided not to protest. There is a suggestion, though, to bring in immigrant volunteers on the most dangerous lines.
Bus driver Hicham El Mzairh suggest that pensioned immigrants would be brought onto public transportation to keep some youth in check. "Many immigrant youth, for example Moroccan youth, don't accept any authority besides their 'own' elders. In Rotterdam and Amsterdam they brought in more than 800 pensioners, and this approach is successful. It's much calmer on public transportation. In Antwerp there are associations such as Samen Op Straat [on the street together], who could perfectly organize that."
According to newspaper De Standaard youth are the first victims of violence by youth gangs on the bus or metro. Public transport employees such as inspectors, drivers and adult passengers are in the second-circle of victims.
The incident in Antwerp where youth from former Yugoslavia attacked a police agent was not a one-time event. The Antwerp youth court has been confronted in recent years more and more with problems of youth from war zones.
Karen Dekoninck, head of the Antwerp youth court, says that in the past four years they've seen a new group of problem youth, particularly youth from former Yugoslavia or Roma youth, who they suspect had been in war zones. Often they have a completely different sense of values than the local youth, although there's no proof that there's a link with the war.
The youth court attributes the increase to the free traffic of people in Europe. Dekoninck says that it's become much easier to move from one country to another and there is less and less supervision.
She doesn't think it's strange that youth from conflict areas get in trouble with the court. The youth and their parents often wait for years for their papers, without means or on welfare. In many of those families going to school is not part of the culture of many of those families, and that will only cause the problem to increase in the coming years.
Sources: HLN 1, 2 (Dutch)
See also: Antwerp: Attack on bus, policeman injured, Let Immigrant Youth Guard the Fair (Allochtonen Weblog Roundup), Germany: Imams on patrol