Drug Trade Moving to Farmlands
Two mayors from Brabant are sounding the alarm over a failing approach of drug crime in smaller municipalities in Brabant.In a letter to newspaper Trouw, Friday, the mayors from Gilze en Rijen and Heusden blame that on the national police withdrawing from rural areas.
Jan Boelhouwer en Jan Hamming state that drug traffickers hide in the countryside, where the national police is less active. The fight against drug crimes in the larger cities in Brabant has been successful, but resulted in criminal activity moving to smaller towns. The mayors fear it will become a pattern.
They want the same successful strategy from the larger cities, to be applied to the rural areas as well, but the establishment of the national police hinders that. 'We are worried about the way the national police fills in the service for the rural areas,' according to the two mayors. Police stations are closed down because of cuts, while police presence and inside knowledge of what's going on in the region is very important in fighting drug crime.
The letter writers want Safety and Justice Minister, Ivo Opstelten, to make sure the police do not lose sight of the middle and smaller communities. Mayors also need to support a tough approach. 'Not one of tolerance, but hard and consistent action,' state the mayors in their letter.