Rotterdam carrying out preventive searches in neighborhoods where explosions took place
Preventive searches will now be carried out in Rotterdam neighborhoods recently affected by multiple explosions at homes and business premises. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has designated the Crooswijk and Oude West neighborhoods as safety risk areas, which makes it possible for the searches to happen.
The preventive searches allow police to pat down and question an individual in those areas without probable cause. A number of other neighborhoods in Rotterdam, such as Centrum, Feijenoord, Delfshaven, IJsselmonde and Charlois, were already designated as risk areas.
In Crooswijk, where there were several explosions last week, two evenings were organized for the residents of the affected apartment buildings to provide information and answer questions as best as possible. After the explosion at a shop on Crooswijkseweg, a letter was distributed to all residents to inform them about additional police efforts and victim support services. The letter also contained an appeal to report suspicious activity to the police, and possibly with anonymity.
In the first four months of this year, there were 54 incidents of excessive violence in Rotterdam, Aboutaleb wrote to the Rotterdam City Council. That is more than during the entirety of 2022. The 54 incidents include 37 where explosions were involved explosions and 17 cases of gunfire. Of the 37 explosions, 36 explosions targetted a building including 29 apartment buildings. Of the 17 cases where gunshots were reported, four were aimed at a building, of which one was a home.
Aboutaleb wrote that the intended targets regularly have a direct or indirect link with the trade in narcotics or other criminal activities. There also often seems to be a connection between the various attacks.
The number of explosions in Rotterdam is already approaching last year's total number of explosions. In 2022, the total number of explosions was 41. In the event of incidents that target buildings, it may be necessary to temporarily close the building. This has already happened 18 times this year.
Reporting by ANP