Rotterdam apologizes for mishandling murdered teen’s stalking reports

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Picture: Twitter/@_sjgbb)Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Picture: Twitter/@_sjgbb)

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb apologized to the relatives of 16-year-old Humeyra, who was shot dead by her stalker at her school last year, for not handling her reports that Bekir E. was stalking her properly, NOS reports. 

Aboutaleb said that he, as mayor, feels responsible for what happened to Humeyra. "Every time someone in Rotterdam is killed in this way, I feel it to my toes", the mayor said. "I hereby say sorry. I don't like to do that, but I do it out of conviction. Because a human life is lost that might have been saved, if the system I feel responsible for had worked better."

Last month the Inspectorate concluded that the police, the Public Prosecution Service, the probation service and the domestic abuse hotline failed in protecting the teenage girl. The Rotterdam city council wanted to know from Aboutaleb who was responsible for this failure and how the approach to stalking can be improved.

Henceforth, the mayor wants the police, the judiciary and the municipality to meet twice a year to discuss the subject of stalking. "Not about incidents, but stalking in general: how does it actually happen, do we see problems arise?" He also wants to appoint someone in the vicinity of a stalked victim, like a community police officer, to make sure that the authorities involved consult well on the specific case. 

A majority of the city council supported an idea of a memorial or street name to keep the memory of Humeyra and other women were killed by violence alive.