A quarter of Gelderland politicians face aggression

One in four politicians in Gelderland faced aggression over the past year, according to a study I & O Research did on behalf of the Province of Gelderland. Among mayors in Gelderland municipalities, 56 percent were faced with aggression, the Gelderlander reports.

Scolding is the most common form of aggression directed at politicians in the province, followed by threats and intimidation. A small proportion even faced physical violence. Most of the incidents happened in direct contact, followed by social media and letters. People in the Gelderland cities are more likely to threaten their politicians on social media than people in the towns and villages. 

Only a small proportion of threatened politicians report the threats to the authorities. This is largely due to the threats not being taken seriously, or the politicians considering them as "part of the job". Gelderland politicians are more likely to consider aggression part of the job than politicians in other parts of the country, according to the researchers. 

Gelderland deputy Jan Markink finds this worrying. According to him, aggression and violence are unacceptable in all forms. In order to pay more attention to this, the Gelderland Academy - a collaboration between the province of Gelderland and the municipalities in the province aimed at training civil servants - is organizing a number of meetings on aggression in the coming period.