Underage boys arrested for gang rapes in Rotterdam, Schiedam
The police arrested three underage boys on Tuesday morning on suspicion that they gang raped multiple girls in Rotterdam-West and Schiedam-Oost. Investigators believe that even more girls fell victim to these young suspects and call on victims to come forwards.
According to the police, there have been stories in Rotterdam-West and Schiedam-Oost for a long time about a group of boys gang raping girls in parks, basements and other dodgy places. When one declaration finally came in, the police immediately launched an investigation.
"It was a long and arduous investigation", detective Lincy Lansbergen said. "We soon noticed that there are more victims than that one report. The signals were there, but declarations were not. Girls but also parents preferred not to talk to us. For various reasons. Sometimes it is fear, sometimes shame, but sometimes it was not considered important enough. Some did not find it so shocking what had happened."
The detective stressed that it is not up to the police to judge what you consider normal. "But for us it is paramount that girls never have to do anything against their will. And if that happens, we want to help you."
"It involves a vulnerable target group. The victims are minors, often insecure and sensitive to the perpetrators' talks. What also makes it difficult is that they also find the boys interesting to a certain extent and want to get along with them. They like hanging out with the boys, but that doesn't' give the boys the right to abuse them. It does not give them the right to cross the line. We want to make it clear to the girls that they can indicate their limits and that those boys have to respect that.", Lansbergen said.
The police eventually received one more declaration and one report. Detectives tried to collect much trace evidence and witness statements as possible. Contact was made with local police officers, youth workers and a nearby school to warn girls and advise them how to stay out of such situations. Months of investigation led to the arrest of three underage boys from Rotterdam and Schiedam on Tuesday.
"The investigation is not yet complete. We suspect that there are more victims and ask them to also report. Now is the time. Together we are strong", Lansbergen said. "If girls do not want to or cannot make a declaration themselves, we can still stop this Parents can make a declaration for their minor children."