Netherlands: Politicians, Moroccans fed up with Moroccan harassment

Netherlands: Politicians, Moroccans fed up with Moroccan harassment

The mayor is getting police protection, shop-keepers don't dare open up for late shopping nights and residents get stones through their windows or threats. Zaltbommel, with 12,000 residents, is sick and tired of harassment by Moroccan youth, reports AD today.

Residents compare the situation with that of Culemborg. "There just needs to be somebody who won't take the harassment any longer, and then we'll have the same problem here."

The problem is not new in Zaltbommel, but after the mayor got police protection last Friday, feelings have been running high again.

The VVD and PVV parties want to take stronger action and more blue on the street, after it became clear that Moroccan youth threatened mayor Albert van den Bosch of Zaltbommel.

"The violence of Moroccan youth appears to become worse and worse. This will truly get out of hand," fears VVD parliamentarian De Krom, who think the cabinet is under-estimating the problem. "Social support has no meaning as long as people don't behave in the streets." The liberal demands to use the whip.

PVV parliamentarian Sietsma is also fed up. "It's a disgrace that the government doesn't better protect the citizens. We need zero tolerance, harsher punishments and the possibility to deport those criminals from the Netherlands," says Sietsma.

SP (Socialists) parliament member Karabulut thinks it's a 'disgrace' that the mayor is being threatened. The SP wants more police on the street so as to act faster. But they also want investment in the neighborhoods and to quickly remove the rotten apples from the group of trouble-youth. "I don't know if that did happen recently," says Karabulut.

Even PvdA (Labor) parliament member Dijsselbloem recognizes that the Gelderland Zuid police district doesn't have enough police to deal with the current problems. Fellow party member Minister Ter Horst (Internal Affairs) is cutting down on police. Dijsselbloem says that they certainly need reinforcements.

Neighbors of the problem group are not the only victims, the Moroccan community is also fed up with the behavior of the trouble-makers. "This harms our community and I absolutely don't approve of it," imam Mustapha Otmani told AD. He will collect signatures this week as a gesture to the municipality.

The Moroccan community in Zaltbommel is also fed up with the intimidation, according to a letter to the residents from the the Al Amal association. A spokesperson says they themselves are also threatened by the youth. "It is a relatively small group that nobody can get a grip on, and where nobody feels responsible that it's going to ruin," writes al-Amal. "The boys don't are about the legal frameworks and have no decency to keep to the norms and values of our society. It's too crazy for words that these youth are deciding and are trying to disrupt society."

The threatened mayor Albert van den Bosch of Zaltbommel is resolute. "I will not yield," he says combatively. The mayor says that the group of youth is 50-60 people. "They're aged 10 to 25. I was also certainly shocked that such young kids are involved. It's often the brothers of the older harassing youth."

Sources: AD, Telegraaf (Dutch)

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