Street nuisance reported far more frequently since pandemic
The police received far more reports of nuisance on the street during the two years of the pandemic than before. In the past year, police officers responded 536,747 times to reports of nuisance, compared to 336,809 in 2019. That is an increase of about half. The most substantial increase was seen in reports about young people causing a disturbance, NRC reports based on figures from the National Police.
Reports of young people causing a racket increased most in the Randstad area. This is because the large cities have many "often large, less wealthy families living in small flats on top of each other," Femke Kaulingfreks, lecturer in youth and society at Inholland University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, said to the newspaper.
When the lockdowns closed schools and community centers, young people sought each other out on the street. The lockdowns also had adults home more often, so they may have been more likely to notice nuisance.
The same thing happened in other provinces and smaller municipalities, Kaulingreks said. Young people ended up hanging out on the street because their schools, sports clubs, and other forms of usual entertainment were closed. Usually, an adult keeps an eye on the teenagers at the football club. But that supervision is lacking on the street, so young people explore their boundaries even further, Kaulingfreks said.
According to Kaulingfrieks, pushing limits is a normal part of teenage development. She believes municipalities act too repressively against nuisance caused by young people. "It is better to start a conversation with young people than to exclude them," she said.