Wednesday, 18 February 2015 - 18:40
Amsterdam home-owning tyrants face expulsion
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan wants the city’s capability to evict extreme neighborhood bullies to extend to those who own their own homes. In a letter this month to the city council, Van der Laan acknowledged that the current Wet Victoria (‘Victoria law’), which authorizes the mayor to shut or cut off access to a home because it is the source of extreme public nuisance, does not adequately empower the city to end situations where the alleged harasser owns the home. “We are in consultation with the state,” the mayor wrote concerning this point. Van der Laan built his argument for continuing Amsterdam’s Treiteraanpak, or ‘approach to harassment’, into 2015 by protecting victims of neighborhood intimidation and moving alleged local tyrants to small apartments on the city's outskirts, often built from disused shipping containers. Since Amsterdam’s anti-harassment policy began in 2013, six city locales have been readied to accommodate quickly erected housing units. “Although it hasn’t been confirmed that all of these locations need to be realized as container residences, in the event that they are needed, they must be quickly available,” wrote Van der Laan. He also stated that the isolated apartments were meant to “complement existing options to rid people of tormentors who are not prepared or able to modify their behavior.” The Dimitrov family was forced out of their home on Amsterdam’s Eilanderstraat and placed in a container residence off the A10 ring road last spring, according to newspaper AD. The municipality alleged that the family was responsible for bullying, intimidation and countless nuisance reports. Amsterdam recorded 59 cases of possible harassment, nine of which were prolonged and persistent, in 2014, according to Nu.nl. Upon first launching the expulsion plan in 2013, there was a noticeable rise in harassment filings, though some were old cases and most files were closed after the harasser improved his behavior.