Stricter regime for asylum seekers causing nuisance

From now on, asylum seekers who cause serious nuisance will be housed in an Enforcement and Supervision Location (HTL) in Hoogeveen. A strict area order will be imposed on individuals causing nuisance and will remain in effect for the duration of their stay at the HTL. The goal is to eliminate the nuisance experienced by the surrounding residents and the retailers in the neighbourhood. On Wednesday, the Lower House of Parliament reported that the Municipality of Hoogeveen and Minister for Migration Ankie Broekers-Knol had reached agreements on the matter.
 
 

From now on, asylum seekers who cause serious nuisance will be housed in an Enforcement and Supervision Location (HTL) in Hoogeveen. A strict area order will be imposed on individuals causing nuisance and will remain in effect for the duration of their stay at the HTL. The goal is to eliminate the nuisance experienced by the surrounding residents and the retailers in the neighbourhood. On Wednesday, the Lower House of Parliament reported that the Municipality of Hoogeveen and Minister for Migration Ankie Broekers-Knol had reached agreements on the matter.
 
By making it possible to transfer asylum seekers causing nuisance to the HTL, the government is cracking down on the unacceptable behaviour of these individuals. The measures will also improve safety for residents and employees at the regular asylum seekers’ centres, because persons causing serious nuisance will be transferred to the HTL. At the HTL, a stricter regime aimed at restriction will apply.
 
Until now, individuals causing serious nuisance were housed in Special Supervision and Monitoring Locations (EBTL), which have been operating for the last two years in Amsterdam and Hoogeveen as part of a pilot. In that pilot, considerable knowledge and experience have been acquired with this special form of reception facility. However, a more intensive approach has proved necessary in order to entirely eliminate nuisance in the municipality. The decision was therefore made to close the EBTL.
 
Area order
The area order will be tightened. In practice, this will mean that the residents will not be able to set foot outside the HTL grounds. The HTL residents will be provided with shops and other facilities and amenities on site, so that there is no need to leave the grounds. The area order will be enforced by special investigating officers. 
 
Minister for Migration Broekers-Knol is grateful to the Municipality of Hoogeveen for its cooperation in the establishment of the HTL. ‘This is a difficult target group, so asking a municipality to accommodate them is a big deal. We have reached clear agreements to prevent nuisance.’ Mayor Karel Loohuis is also pleased: ‘It is important to our inhabitants that they will not suffer any nuisance. I am confident that, with these agreements, this will be easy to achieve.’
 
Dealing with nuisance
Most of the asylum seekers in the Netherlands do not cause any problems. However, a relatively small group causes nuisance by shoplifting, engaging in vandalism and threatening others. This is unacceptable, partly because it undermines public support for the asylum system. Therefore, the central government, provinces, municipalities, the police force, the Public Prosecution Service, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), the Repatriation & Departure Service (DT&V) and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) have joined forces to reduce nuisance.
 
For example, chain marines have been appointed, who work at both national and regional level to reduce nuisance. The Minister for Migration has also made 1 million euros available to help municipalities reduce nuisance. In addition, the Top X approach is being used, as a result of which the individuals causing the most nuisance have been clearly identified in a national list and can be dealt with intensively. From now on, if an individual is obliged to leave the country, it will also be considered at an earlier stage whether immigration detention is possible.
 
At the local level, municipalities and the police are imposing area bans and are introducing a requirement to report. Criminal behaviour is of course subject to criminal law, with accelerated proceedings being administered wherever possible.