Once again, the Mayor of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma, is sounding the alarm about safety in the city. He thinks the Municipality should spend EUR4 million extra each year to make the city safer.
“We are in danger of losing the war against criminals. I am deeply concerned about safety. It is making me, along with the police and the public prosecutor, sick to my stomach. We, therefore, need more money”, Jorritsma says. Because the Municipality is strapped for cash, it is still a major challenge to find the extra millions. “The City Council is about the budget, I am not. But look, for example, at housing costs. These could possibly increase a bit more”.
Lack of manpower
According to Jorritsma, the Municipality and the police have too few hands to deal with the problems of crime and public order. “And if we do not invest more, the problems will only get bigger. This is because we are growing as a city, with two to three thousand additional inhabitants a year”.
The Mayor points out that the Council’s Security Department is slowly crumbling. For example, there is a shortage of city supervision and special investigation officers. In other areas, there are also too few people to really deal with the problems. “There was a wave of robberies over the past few months. Often the perpetrators are 13, 14 or 15 years old. And we are often able to arrest them. But we do not have the capacity to follow through with the matter and make sure that they do not offend again”.
Problems are also arising, for example, in the fight against human trafficking or the coffee shop policy. Jorritsma: “We have chosen priorities in our security policy, such as the approach to youth crime and the undermining of the law. But that means that we can focus less on other areas. We can take action when it comes to crimes involving human trafficking, but then we can not follow up on these actions”.
The question remains whether the additional millions will be made available for security issues. The Municipality finds itself in financial difficulty now. The ball is at the City Council’s court. “I would like to say yes, but it is very difficult”, VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) President, Joost de Jong, says.
Translated by: Bob
Edited by: Melinda