Fight against organised crime in Brabant intensified

The administrative and judicial fight against organised crime in Brabant is being intensified, with immediate effect. A Task Force, established in cooperation with the responsible mayors, is coordinating all administrative and judicial measures necessary to reduce organised crime in Brabant: gangs of criminals who are behind the growth and sale of cannabis will be rounded up, underlying criminal structures will be broken down and criminal assets will be confiscated. Under the direction of the Task Force, led by the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Mayor of Tilburg, the necessary actions will be taken at the highest level, together with the local authorities of the largest cities in Brabant, the police (the National Investigation Service and regional police forces), the Public Prosecution Service and the tax authorities.

In addition, the implementation of the Government’s tightened cannabis coffee shop policy will be stepped up in the Brabant region. This means that cannabis coffee shops will become private clubs with a membership pass system and that a minimum distance of 350 metres between coffee shops and schools will apply. Under the motto “We will do all that is necessary”, the Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten agreed to this plan with the (deputy) mayors of Breda, Helmond, Eindhoven, ‘s Hertogenbosch and Tilburg last Thursday evening. The meeting was convened because of the present situation concerning drugs-related organised crime in Brabant.

By setting up the Task Force, the Minister and the Mayors want to ensure that the available administrative and judicial instruments will be used to maximum effect in the whole region. That means that apart from rounding up criminal gangs, cannabis coffee shops and drug premises can be closed down if necessary, optimum use will be made of the BIBOB instrument (Public Administration Probity Screening Act), additional tax assessments can be imposed, and criminal money can confiscated more effectively.

These efforts should, of course, lead to a more structural basis for a joint approach in the entire region.

The province of North Brabant comprises five major cities (B-5), three police regions and two districts of the Public Prosecution Service. In addition, there are two Regional Information and Expertise Centres (RIEC), which are aimed at strengthening the administrative approach to fighting organised crime.