Gate to keep psychiatric clinic patients out of Den Dolder neighborhood

Patients from the Fivoor psychiatric clinic in Den Dolder will soon no longer be able to walk through a residential neighborhood to the town center and train station. The municipality of Zeist, which covers Den Dolder, is going to install a two meters high gate to keep patients out of the Duivenhorst neighborhood, the municipality said in a letter to local residents, AD reports.

The clinic, which also treats people sentenced to institutionalized psychiatric treatment, was in the news multiple times over the past years. Michael P., the man convicted of raping and killing 25-year-old Anne Faber, was being treated there when the young Utrecht woman was killed. Last month there was a commotion when patient Peter M. did not return to the clinic after leave. M.'s family described him as "extremely dangerous" when he was not taking his medication. The police released his photo and description when he was away from the clinic long enough for his medication to nearly be worked out of his system. The man was arrested soon afterwards.

Local residents say they fear for their safety and that of their children. "Patients sometimes stay on the stairs, I don't like that. I don't let my child play alone in the adjacent playground", one resident said to AD.

The municipality previously created an alternative route through the woods which patients can use, but this did not have the desired effect, according to the letter. "There were again a number of incidents and residents still experience nuisance." The municipality hopes that the gate will put an end to the residents' unease. There is already a gate, but the municipality will install a higher one that will be provided with a PIN code. Only the residents of Duivenhorst and Willem Coxlaan will get the PIN. 

Opinions about the gate are divided in the neighborhood. The resident who won't let their child play alone in the playground called it a "great measure". Another called the gate "completely unnecessary". "I am not in favor of it. I don't see the point in it either. As far as I'm concerned, it is not necessary." A third resident told the newspaper that she understands the measure, even though she herself is not bothered by the patients. "I wish those people their rest. Local residents have a lot of trouble, there is a lot of litter. Little children play here. We also use the stairs and the PIN code is an extra thing, but I understand."