Broken car window (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Túrelio) - Credit: Broken car window (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Túrelio)
Monday, 26 September 2016 - 16:00
Maassluis residents tired of vandalizing youths
Residents of the Maassluis neighborhood of Burgemeesterwijk have had enough of a group of young people causing trouble in the neighborhood. According to them, noise problems turned into vandalism, threats and intimidation, with troubles escalating over the past three weekends, RTL Nieuws reports. Over the past three weekends, street furniture was smashed, cars were damaged, house windows were broken and a number of residents were intimidated, according to the broadcaster. On Saturday, Mayor Edo Haan implemented an emergency decree in the hope that this will restore calm in the neighborhood But residents Edwin Bot and Chris Perez believe this to be a temporary solution. According to the two, the young people have been causing problems in the area for some time, but things escalated three weeks ago when the police addressed them in a park. The group left, but not for long. "Once the police left, they simply came back. That gave them a kind of euphoria", Edwin said to the broadcaster. "It was like a button was switched. Neighbors sitting on their balcony was shouted at. Paving stones were ripped off the sidewalks, they threw in the windows of a primary school and torn a traffic sign from the ground and threw it on the road." Those who spoke up against it, were threatened, he added. Local residents called the police, but by the time they arrived, the damage was done. "That same evening I sent an email to all the factions in the city council. Less than 10 minutes later I had half the board on the phone", Edwin said. "The next day the mayor was on the sidewalk. ore police deployment was promised and a camera was put up in the neighborhood. That helped a bit..." But not much. Last week resident Chris had his car windows smashed. When his mother addressed the young people, they verbally abused and threatened her. "They almost attacked her!" Chris said. That evening, the windows of their home were also smashed. According to both Chris and Edwin, the troublemakers are a group of about 20 kids between the ages of 17 and 19 years old. City councilor Aad Solleveld of Maassluis Belang agrees. "There's been nuisance from this group for at least two years. It used to be fine in the neighborhood, but lately less so, despite the refurbishment. The troublemakers live in two apartment buildings, but there are also a number of young people not from the neighborhood." Solleveld said. "My party previously warned the council that something had to be done, because otherwise people would take matters into their own hands."