Rise in criminality at Den Haag train station blamed on “homeless EU migrants”
There has been an increase in property crimes, aggression towards passengers and staff, and general nuisance at Den Haag Central Station, NS and ProRail wrote to the municipality of The Hague. The transport companies blamed the increased problems on “homeless EU migrants” and have moved several benches at the station to try and keep them away.
NS and ProRail received 166 reports of nuisance at the station between January and April 2023, up from 128 in the same period last year. Reports of property crime increased from 12 to 89, reports of passengers facing aggression and harassment rose from 14 to 47, and aggression against employees rose from 14 to 29.
The transport companies said the problems occur mainly in the morning and evening and are “mostly caused by homeless EU migrants.” According to NS and ProRail, travelers, shopkeepers at the station, and employees no longer feel safe during these times of the day.
ProRail and NS said they’d deployed extra people and focused more on cleaning the station, but that hasn’t resulted in a decrease in incidents. “For that reason, ProRail and NS have decided, in close consultation with the municipality of The Hague, to move a few benches” to behind the gates so that travelers have to check in before using them.
It concerns the benches next to the Starbucks and Albert Heijn To Go. They’ve been moved “for an indefinite temporary period,” the transport companies said. They’ll reassess the situation in two months to see if the measure helped.
The companies said they’re also talking with foundations that assist homeless people for help with the situation. They’re also investigating other possible measures to reduce nuisance. “In addition, long-term measures will be worked out with regard to seating facilities so that travelers and visitors, both in front of and behind the gates, have sufficient seating facilities in a pleasant environment,” NS and ProRail said.