Home closure following violence or weapon catch

In future, mayors will be able to close houses around which public order is or risks being disturbed by severe violence, such as a shooting or throwing explosives. This power will also apply when weapons are discovered in a dwelling. The measure is required in order to maintain the public peace in the face of disruption by organised and subversive crime. This information has emerged from a legislative proposal by Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus, which was submitted for consultation and which forms part of anti-subversion legislation.

Municipalities are frequently confronted with homes being shot at or with hand grenades being placed near the house façade or attached to the doorknob. Even automatic weapons are sometimes used. Mayors may also fear a disturbance of public order due to an imminent targeted shooting at a dwelling.

‘All these situations, whether they involve shooting incidents or the discovery of weapons or of explosives, threaten the public peace in a socially unacceptable manner.'

said the Minister.

People living, working or taking their children to school in the neighbourhood feel unsafe and fear future incidents. They are personally faced with the violence that weighs heavily on public life. While mayors should be able to act and restore public order in such cases, they are currently restricted by the legal possibilities for dwellings. To this end, the Minister will introduce a further measure to support local authorities.

In future, mayors will be able to decide for how long a home will remain closed. They may choose to extend this period of closure until a later date to be determined if there is a severe risk of a repeat or a disturbance of the public peace.

On taking office, the government stepped up the fight against organised subversive crime, among other things by investing 100 million euros in the subversion fund and by introducing legislation. In addition, the government reinforced its activities during this autumn by spending 110 million euros on a nation-wide offensive including both repressive and preventive measures.

‘Subversive crime takes a brutal approach and threatens ordinary citizens in their daily lives. We need to make our society more resilient against the poison of subversive crime, which is accompanied by violence, threats, intimidation as well as targeted shootings in our neighbourhoods and districts.’

stated Minister Grapperhaus.