Additional municipalities to tackle youth crime
The government is to support more municipalities with tackling incidences of youth crime. The area-oriented preventative strategy to prevent young people growing up to be serious criminals is to be expanded from 15 to 27 municipalities. That is the subject of a half-year letter on tackling organised and undermining crime that Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security sent to the House of Representatives today.
Together with Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection, Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius is investing in a broad approach to prevent children, young people and young adults from becoming involved in crime, or from growing up in a criminal environment. These investments will increase to a structural amount totalling 143 million euros per year from 2025 onwards. In doing so the focus will be on an area-oriented approach by municipalities with all the partners involved in all areas of young people's lives, ranging from the police, the Public Prosecution Service (OM), the Judiciary, the Child Protection Board, the Probation Service, the Halt Foundation and safe houses to school teachers, youth workers, youth care organisations, local businesses and employers.
Last year, the first 15 municipalities started implementing their strategy in neighbourhoods where the risks of young people being recruited to engage in criminal acts and progressing down the wrong career path are highest. These neighbourhoods are located in Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, The Hague, Eindhoven, Groningen, Heerlen, Leeuwarden, Lelystad, Nieuwegein, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Tilburg, Utrecht and Zaanstad. Last year's expansion of the National Livability and Safety Programme (Nationaal Programma Leefbaarheid en Veiligheid, NPLV) to include Delft, Dordrecht, Roosendaal and Vlaardingen means that these four municipalities have also been selected to develop plans to combat youth crime. They will be able to start implementing these plans this year.
On top of this, a further eight municipalities are going to be asked to make proposals for a preventive approach to youth crime in their neighbourhoods. The municipalities in question are Almere, Enschede, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Nijmegen, Helmond, Venlo, Sittard-Geleen and Maastricht. The expectation is that they will be able to start implementation at the beginning of 2024. These municipalities have been selected on the basis of crime figures and socio-economic data so as to include the current situation with regard to safety and to take account of the (future) breeding ground for youth crime.