Criminal asylum seekers prompt crisis meeting in Weert

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention centerPhoto: Politie

The municipality of Weert is having a crisis debate on Wednesday regarding problems with criminal asylum seekers staying in the local asylum center. The municipality will discuss this issue with the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA, the Public Prosecutor, the police and the Repatriation and Departure Service, ANP reports.

This emergency debate follows three arrests made at the asylum center in Weert on Monday. The police went to the shelter to arrest an asylum seeker on suspicion of shoplifting. He resisted arrest and others got involved. Eventually three people were arrested.

According to mayor Jos Heijmans of Weert, the COA is not in control of the situation at the asylum center. "Every day the police have to go to the asylum center with blaring sirens", he said on Pauw on Tuesday night. 

The Limburg city has been struggling with problems caused mainly by North African asylum seekers for some time, the mayor said, according to the news wire. Heijmans said that these are economic asylum seekers who have almost no chance of gaining refugee status in the Netherlands.