Entrepreneurs from Ter Apel write in a letter that they are “at their wits’ end” due to incidents involving nuisance asylum seekers. People talk about the problems in the Groningen village, but the entrepreneurs do not see that anything is being done about it.
The entrepreneurs wrote on Monday in a letter to the government and the municipality of Westerwolde, which includes Ter Apel, that they lost confidence in politics. A group of about two hundred asylum seekers are causing a nuisance in the village. According to the entrepreneurs, these incidents are causing the village to be avoided and they are missing out on turnover. They are at their wits’ end and feel “paralyzed”, “powerless” and “empty”.
“Discussion is taking place at a level far from Ter Apel, with overarching talk about the village, how bad it would be for us, but in practice they do not act on it,” the entrepreneurs write. According to them, the image of the village has “reached rock bottom”.
The entrepreneurs also say that they sometimes have to handle shoplifting themselves due to a staff shortage in the police. “This is unacceptable and the world has been turned upside down.”
Concerns about vigilante justice after incidents
Some residents of Ter Apel have united in a vigilante group – partly because of the thefts. The municipality, among others, expressed understanding for the citizens, who have been dealing with nuisance for a long time.
But concerns about this vigilante are increasing. Last month there were several incidents in which someone was injured during a citizen’s arrest.
It’s fine to use your ears and eyes, but this must be within the applicable legal rules, police chief Martin Sitalsing said last week. One today. “When people take the law into their own hands, a line is really crossed for us.”
Sanne Oving is binnenlandverslaggever bij NU.nl
Sanne volgt voor NU.nl grote binnenlandse thema’s, zoals zorg en asiel.
Plan to tackle nuisance asylum seekers
In addition to more officers on the street, entrepreneurs hope for compensation for the damage to their image and thefts. In the letter they also demand that no more nuisance asylum seekers are accommodated in Ter Apel.
To tackle the nuisance, the ministry is using, among other things, the special process availability location (pbl). People who have little chance of being allowed to stay are accommodated here to await their accelerated process. They are not allowed to leave the registration center grounds during this process.
At the same time, from the end of this month, dozens of ‘underprivileged people’ will also be taken to other reception locations every week. By the end of that year, the size of the group must be limited to “a minimum”, the ministry promised in a letter to the municipality of Westerwolde, among others.
“The intention is there to fulfill the agreements,” said Mayor of Westerwolde Jaap Velema in response to the letter. “We will continue to critically monitor the implementation of the agreement made. Past experience has taught us that this does not happen automatically.”