Netherlands: A reader's personal experience
I received the letter below a few days ago. The experience the reader describes is a common one. Common enough, that I don't report every time Moroccan gangs hit the news.
Just recently, for example, 29 Moroccan kids were arrested in Gouda for 'terrorizing' passers-by with snowballs and ice-balls. The kids put up snow barriers to stop bikers and drivers, and then mugged them. The police added agents to try and catch them, and intend to arrest more. (NL)
The experience is common enough that the Moroccan community itself is starting to recognize this problem, and that this problem is theirs as well.
See also: Amsterdam: Dutch want police to take harsher measures against Moroccans
I fell upon your blog tonight after experiencing my third Moroccan youth attack on innocence by-passers of the Bilderdijkpark. As I walked with my visiting friend from Montreal, we passed the Billderdijkpark to my apartment home near the Hugo de Grootplein we noticed a group of 15 to 17 Moroccan youth (maybe 17-23 year olds) walking by and throwing snowballs at people riding by on their bikes. At first we walked slowly across the Bilderdijkstraat towards our street but stopped in your tracks as we notice that they were all (all 15-17 of them) attacking a man on his bike causing him to fall off his bike. What was even more astonishing was that the youths continued to attack this man while he was down on the ground. They yelled and laughed as they threw tightly packed snowballs at this man's face and body.
My friend and I quickly went across the street as the youths placed their next targets on a elderly couple, who also frighten by this act, jumped off they bikes and began walking slowly behind and past this gang of youths. As soon as I arrived home I began to call the cops and watched as the gang continued throwing snowballs at any passerby. After telling the cops what I saw and being asked if anyone was actually hurt badly enough that they would need to come or call an ambulance, I finally said a few "magic" words, "They are attacking people" which made the police respond by saying, "we are on our way."
It was 10 minutes later that I saw the police ride by the Bilderdijkpark, turn around and drive quickly away.
I, in the meantime, left my apartment and followed the gang of 15-17 guys, around the corner of my block, on the Van Houweningenstraat, but perhaps I followed too cautiously because they were all gone in an instant. I did meet a neighbor who ask if I was looking a the "gang of young men". We began talking about how this gang have been terrorizing the neighborhood with their actions and how something needs to be done about this. Unfortunately, we both agreed, we do not feel backed by the police, nor the government. If i was to protect myself with an object I had on me, ie. bike chain, mace, etc., I would be held accountable for having a weapon and yet, the fact that these youth are terrorizing the neighborhood goes unwatched.
I feel that we need to have more police presence in this neighborhood and more arrest for these brutal actions. In my 6 months of living in this neighborhood, and after witnessing just three attacks, I know where these men live; so should the local police.
I am really upset by seeing this today and i want to do something more than walk around watching my, and my neighbors, back.
Please help me with any suggestions you might have.