Group of teens on fatbikes terrrorizing Haarlem, surrounding towns
About 50 young people, mostly teenagers, on fatbikes are terrorizing the Haarlem region, from Bloemendaal to Heemstede. They pick young victims randomly, follow them, harass them, rob them, and assault them. The authorities received the first signals of this problem group about six months ago, and it’s only grown since then, NH Nieuws reports.
According to NH, the victims are also primarily teenagers and seem to be selected at random, leaving them and their families feeling unsafe on the street. Many parents no longer let their children cycle to school or sports clubs. Some local shopkeepers are also struggling with harassment from this group, the broadcaster said.
The police confirmed the problems to NH Nieuws. They’ve received reports of harassment, threats, vandalism, and violence. The police speak of “several groups” of children, totaling about 50, who operate in varying compositions.
Rob Slewe, a city councilor in the municipality of Bloemendaal, has received dozens of reports of children being chased with fatbikes and then beaten up, mugged, or both. The involved municipalities, police, and other authorities are working on a broader approach to the problem, he told the broadcaster. “We have to tackle this from schools, from youth care, from the police,’ he said. “And the municipalities really have to put their heads together; otherwise, we won’t make it.”
The approach has already started with the police identifying the teenagers causing the most problems and visiting their homes. Other young people have also received a warning letter or had a cop show up at their door. Municipalities are also deploying extra enforcers to hotspots.