Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 15:08
Limburg mayor urges Cabinet to act on motorcycle clubs
The mayor of Echt-Susteren, Jos Hessels, says he's had it with motorcycle gangs, after the newest attack on a Bandidos member took place in his city, he tells Radio 1 Journaal. The attack on Tuesday night surprised many residents, and angered Hessels. A hand grenade was thrown into the garden of a Bandidos member. It exploded, damaging five homes and one car. In an interview with Radio 1, the mayor explains that he has enforced several security measures to prevent another incident like this from happening. Mayor Hessels does not know who is behind the attack, but does say that this is the third time in six or eight weeks that this has happened in the area. There are now plans for permanent camera surveillance on the street where the Bandidos member lives.. "There will also be traffic regulations, whereby it will become difficult to ride through the street unseen, and you will be forced to moderate your speed as driver." The mayor has also introduced an emergency ordnance that means the area is restricted. People can be preventatively frisked or ordered to leave the area. Further, mayor Hessels has been in contact with the Cabinet in The Hague, who he thinks is not fully comprehending the impact that this activity has on people. He emphasizes that physical damage can be dealt with in such attacks, but is worried about the traumatic impact it has on families. Hessles proposes that motorcycle clubs in the Netherlands be treated similarly to those in Germany. In diverse cities and states, motorcycles in Germany are registered as criminal organizations. "And that has persisted judicially as well. Not in the Netherlands. If you can do that, then you can take on the clubs as well as individual members much better. Separate the good seeds from the bad." Hessels says that this is one of the excuses that the Cabinet uses, that there some motorcycle riders are good people, and that you shouldn't lump them in with the bad seeds. He insists, however, that the safety and peace of his residents comes first. "We have to forget the nuance and take measures whereby people can sleep again."