City councils to learn how to deal with aggressive, angry citizenry

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Dutch mayors and aldermen will ask for training on how to deal with aggressive, angry and violent citizens during a debate in the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. Officials already receive such training, but given the escalation in the asylum debate, city councils feel the need for it too, BNR reports.

A survey done by the Alderman Association showed that many aldermen in the country faced aggression, violence, insult, intimidation and harassment. A massive 78 aldermen were threatened. Only 33 pressed charges so far.

According to Ton Roerig, director of the Alderman Association, the training should teach aldermen and mayors where to draw the line. "We see that aldermen find it difficult to go against the people, because every citizen is a voter and you would like to be elected. But there are limits to what you must and should accept from citizens.

Municipalities are obviously free to arrange and pay for such training themselves. But according top Roerig it is important to show a united front. "We have to do it all together. Because it is necessary that a line be drawn in an authoritative way."