The Dutch investigative authorities like customs and the police do not work well together in combating drug trafficking in the port of Rotterdam, researchers at Erasmus University concluded after an extensive study commissioned by the Rotterdam municipality, police, customs and Public Prosecutor. Information is not always shared and the authorities mainly focus on so-called "retrievers" of the drugs, which means that the organizers of the drug shipments remain out of reach, the researchers said, NOS reports.
On Tuesday Rotterdam commemorated the 79th anniversary of the Rotterdam Blitz, the German bombardment of the city during the Second World War. "We are still for two minutes. Out of respect for the biggest sacrifice that a person can make: his or her life", Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said about the two minutes of silence. "They did that for our freedom. We walk in their footsteps."
It has to become easier to share information about criminals, regardless of strict privacy rules, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said to the Telegraaf in an interview. His comments were in response to Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb who also raised concerns about this issue.
More investigators and customs officers are needed to combat drug crime in the port of Rotterdam, according to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. The Rotterdam mayor calls on the government to structurally tackle undermining crime, NOS reports.
King Willem-Alexander visited neighborhood Bospolder-Tussendijken in Rotterdam-West, known as one of the worse neighborhoods in the city, at the invitation of mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb on Tuesday. While the mayor invited the Dutch King, his visit was a complete surprise for local residents, NOS and the Volkskrant report.
The municipality of Rotterdam placed the 43 sisha lounges in the city under stricter supervision, following complaints from residents and an explosion at a sisha lounge in Rotterdam West in December. Earlier this week the police announced that the explosion at Villa Blanca was an attack, NOS reports.
"Violence against women is horrific. Some people do not understand that women can say no", Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said in a city council meeting on Thursday. He wants to do more to fight violence against women, RTL Nieuws reports.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam visited the Designcollege on Wednesday. He attended a meeting for pupils about the death of 16-year-old Humeyra Oz, who was shot at the school on Tuesday. The police, Victim Support and Turkish consul Aytac Yilmaz also attended the meeting, NU.nl reports.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb does not want to go through with an alcohol ban set to be implemented in Wijkpark Oude Westen next year. It is better to offer help instead of fining homeless people caught violating the alcohol ban, he said in the city council meeting, RTV Rijnmond reports.
Amsterday mayor Femke Halsema must enforce the ban on face-covering clothing, commonly referred to as the burka ban, in the Dutch capital, State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense said on WNL on Sunday. "No one is above the law", Visser said. "Including the mayor of Amsterdam."
31 mayors of larger Dutch cities are calling on the Senate not to remove the appointment of mayors from the Dutch constitution, and to keep the procedure as is. Removing the appointment procedure from the constitution is the first step in enabling an elected mayor. The mayors are worried that this will result in them losing their connecting role as "father or mother for all residents, businesses and institutions", they wrote in an open letter to the Senate, the Volkskrant reports.
The Rotterdam-Beverwaard asylum center will stop taking in asylum seekers from safe countries following a number of incidents involving such asylum seekers in the center, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wrote in a letter to the city council. This halt is being implemented in agreement with the COA, the central agency for the reception of refugees, RTL Nieuws reports.
Between April and August of this year, there were a total of 20 incidents in the asylum center, Aboutaleb wrote. "In the period from mid-August to the present, this number has increased to 69 incidents."
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was authorized to ban a demonstration against Zwarte Piet in November 2016, the court in Rotterdam ruled. Activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet wanted to protest in Rotterdam during the arrival of Sinterklaas in November 2016. Mayor Aboutaleb banned this demonstration out of fear of disturbances. Some 200 demonstrators were arrested.
Instead of declaring certain areas in the city firework-free over New Year's, Rotterdam wants to designate areas where fireworks can be lit this year. The city plans to have 35 designated firework zones, NOS reports.
According to mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, it will still be possible for many Rotterdam residents to light fireworks in their neighborhoods. "With the introduction of fireworks zones in our city, we hope to significantly reduce the nuisance and the efforts of our emergency services. At the same time Rotterdam residents who want to can still light fireworks", he said.
There are plans in motion to ban smoking on multiple Rotterdam streets in the area around Erasmus MC, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Erasmiaans Gymnasium, AD reports. According to non-smokers association Clean Air Nederland, if these plans succeed, Rotterdam will be the first municipality to implement a smoking ban for entire streets.
The violence a police officer used while arresting a woman on Stadhuisplein in Rotterdam last month was not proportional, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wrote in response to questions from the local DENK faction. The officer was allowed to use force, but the degree of violence used crossed a line, according to the mayor, NOS reports.
The police arrested a 29-year-old man from Rotterdam on Thursday afternoon after he waved a knife around in the Rotterdam city hall. The man was tasered and bitten by a police dog during his arrest, AD reports.
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. at the main entrance of the city hall on Coolsingel. Witnesses told AD that the man shouted for help and then walked up the building's stairs, where he was stopped by security guards.
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is under extra security due to a death threat he received after a city council debate on Thursday, June 15th, he said on NOS World Cup program Studio Russia on Sunday.
Freedom of speech means that everyone must be able to express their opinion, whatever it may be, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a neighborhood Iftar on Sunday. "No matter how poisonous the message may be, it must be able to be expressed", he said in reaction to him allowing a Pegida pork roasting demonstration at the Laleli mosque in Rotterdam-Zuid last week, ANP reports.
About 20 supporters of anti-Islam movement Pegida decided at the last minute not to hold a demonstrative barbecue in front of the Laleli Mosque in Rotterdam on Thursday. According to Pegida, the police said that their safety couldn't be guaranteed. According to the police, they said no such thing and the group decided on its own to leave, NU.nl reports.
A spokesperson for Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told the newspaper that Pegida "made the decision not to let the demonstration go on itself, when they saw the crowd."
Turkey fiercely criticized Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb for allowing anti-Islam movement Pegida to roast pigs in front of the Laleli mosque on Thursday evening. On Twitter Omer Celik, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the decision to allow this protest "immoral".
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is calling for a pay increase for the municipal councilors in the large Dutch cities.
Currently councilors in municipalities with 357,001 or more inhabitants receive around 2,300 euros gross. Aboutaleb wants this to increase to 2,800 euros gross, Het Parool reports.
"Officially, councilor is a secondary function, but that is really nonsense", Aboutaleb said on Friday, according to the newspaper. "In practice, the council work takes up three to four days [per week]."
Controversial imam Fawaz Jneid from The Hague called Rotterdam mayor Ahmad Aboutaleb an 'enemy of Islam' and a renegade Muslim in an hour long preach on social media, reports the Telegraaf, who had the Arabic preach translated to Dutch by a credited interpreter.
Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers passed away on Wednesday. He was in poor health for some time, a spokesperson for the 78-year-old CDA politician said. While other politicians knew that Lubbers was not doing well, they are still shocked by his death.