Asylum center can't handle addiction, psychological issues: Inspectorate

King Willem-Alexander at an asylum center
King Willem-Alexander on visit to the asylum center in Ter Apel, 19 Jan 2016 (Photo: @koninklijkhuis/Twitter)Photo: Rotapool / Robin van Lonkhuijsen via RVD, @koninklijkhuis / Twitter)

The employees of special reception locations for problem causing asylum seekers have major trouble with a growing group of residents who have addiction- or psychological problems. The employees can not manage the antisocial or criminal behavior of these residents, the Inspectorate for Justice and Security said, RTL Nieuws reports.

The Inspectorate launched an investigation after the death of an asylum seeker at an extra accompaniment and supervision center in Hoogeveen on March 9th last year. The man died after he had fallen three times. The Inspectorate concluded that the center's personnel did their best and tried to act as well as possible, and are therefore not to blame for the man's death.

However, the Inspectorate added that the residents of extra supervision centers often have more serious problems than had previously been estimated. A growing groups of residents struggle with addiction-, medical-, or psychological problems. And they often refuse to adjust their behavior. Employees can not limit the antisocial or criminal behavior of residents, the Inspectorate said. The police do not always respond directly to reports of aggression against employees, despite this being part of the agreement. And agreements to address antisocial and criminal behavior outside the centers are not always met.

The Netherlands has two extra accompaniment and supervision asylum centers, one in Hoogeveen and one in Amsterdam.

The Inspectorate recommends that the government reconsider the placement of problem causing asylum seekers in the extra supervision centers. It must also be examined whether asylum center staff's resources and capabilities are sufficient to address problems and criminal behavior. The Inspectorate also suggests giving employees the authority to limit or deprive asylum seekers' freedoms. The police and the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA must make agreements about this.

In a reaction State Secretary Mark Harbers of Justice and Security, who is responsible for Asylum, said that he is bound by European rules on freedom restriction and that he can not change that. The harshest sanction according to the European regulations is already in place - placing people in immigration detention. Harbers also said that consultations are already being held between the police and COA.