Gov't invests millions in protecting young people from life of crime
The government is pushing 82 million euros per year into protecting young people from a career in crime, Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security announced. She wants to stop drug criminals from recruiting children.
"Criminals are already luring primary school-age children to drop off a package somewhere. They ask secondary school pupils to drop someone off on their scooter and pick them up," the Minister said. "One day, they hear gunshots and become involved in an assassination. Young people are sucked into a life of crime and lose their future. We must prevent little boys from becoming big criminals."
The money will go to 15 municipalities struggling with young people being recruited into crime - Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, The Hague, Eindhoven, Groningen, Heerlen, Leeuwarden, Lelystad, Nieuwegein, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Tilburg, Utrecht, and Zaanstad. The municipalities will make specific plans to address this problem in their neighborhoods. More cities will be added to this list later this year.
The Cabinet wants the cities to use the money to give young people prospects for work and income but also to severely reprimand them if they take steps toward a life of crime. "Everything stands or falls with addressing young people about their behavior and involving their parents," Yeşilgöz-Zegerius said. "Only through intensive person-centered approach can we stop the intimidating pressure of drug traffickers on our children, pupils, and young adults."