Money spent fighting drugs goes to waste: Maastricht mayor

According to Mayor Onno Hoes, the problems with drug crime in Maastricht are so substantial, that other affairs suffer.

In September this year, Maastricht won the dubious title "Crime Capital of the Netherlands" from RTL Nieuws. According to Hoes, one of the reasons for this is a shortage of officers. "We have previously discussed with Minister Opstelten and the police chief of Limburg that we want more officers, but the problem at the moment is that if I want officers, they are delivered from Groningen and then Groningen has a problem."

According to Hoes, as long as the Tweede Kamer does not delegate more money for more police on the streets, there are simply no more officers to deliver. "That means that you have to give the [auxiliary and citizen street security teams] more powers, but the Hague does not want to do that. So you'll have to do it in a different way."

The "different way" means slimming down on other municipal tasks. "You must slowly set other priorities. You want the monumental facades to look neat and that there is no excessive advertising. On that sort of thing you will say: we do that less and we and we focus more on drugs."

Hoes will discuss these topics with the council over the next two months. The new security plan will be determined at the end of this year.