Amsterdam prosecutor concerned by increasing violence among young people

Dutch police crime scene tape
Stock image of Dutch police crime scene tape twixxDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The Public Prosecution Service in Amsterdam is concerned about young people seemingly being increasingly eager to shoot or stab each other. "My concern is great, because you see that the number of incidents involving young people who shoot or stab is increasing," chief prosecutor John Lucas said in an interview with AT5. Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw expressed similar concerns earlier this year. 

As an example, Lucas mentioned the violent murder of 18-year-old rapper Jay-Ronne Grootfaam in Amsterdam Zuidoost in September. According to the Prosecutor, the teen was murdered with a machete. Two suspects, aged 18 and 20, are currently in custody. The victim and suspects belonged to rival rap groups who threaten each other in videos, Lucas said to the broadcaster.

"My concern is great: you see that young people very easily come to violence and then rap about it. That makes me very worried and also afraid of the future: that we can't get it under control completely," Lucas said. "Criminal law is not going to get it under control. We can punish it and punish the horrendous outcomes of these kinds of fights, but the foundation, the solution, is in the neighborhood itself. As a society, you must not want this and must not accept it."

"Saying: we find this unacceptable, it starts with that. Breaking through a culture of silence is quite complicated when there is a lot of violence, I realize that too. And at the same time: if you want to make a change, it must start there," Lucas said.