Rotterdam Mayor: Special ambulance needed to pick up disturbed people
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is concerned about the large increase in the number of incidents in which the police had to intervene in disturbances caused by disturbed people. He is calling for immediate action. The mayor wants to remove the excess for medicines that treat psychosis and a special ambulance to pick up disturbed people, instead of them ending up in the back of a police car. The Rotterdam mayor said this during a committee meeting on Thursday, AD reports. The police have had to intervene in 3,500 incidents involving disturbed people in the region so far this year. That number is already higher than all of last year. The police are called in, for example, to deal with people yelling at each other on the street or other inappropriate behavior causing disturbances. "This behavior is often caused by a psychosis. It often appears that the person involved did not take his or her medicine." the mayor said. According to Aboutaleb, the police are not the appropriate institution to deal with disturbed people. "They should not be handcuffed and detained at the police station", Aboutaleb is therefore calling for the abolition of the excess on medicines for disturbed people. "In the mental health sector patients receive a note with the medicine they have to get. They often do not do so because they have to pay an excess." The Rotterdam mayor also made this plea to a delegation of the Cabinet. He also wants disturbed people not to be picked up by the police, but by an ambulance with paramedics specially trained on how to handle them. On Thursday the government and the Association of Dutch Municipalities presented the "motivating team disturbed people", which will develop a plan on how municipalities should deal with this issue before next summer. Aboutaleb thinks that is great, "but these measures do not call for further study, but for action".