Bands of North-African youths operating in the Dutch city of Maastricht have harassed revellers who were out celebrating Carnival. Several incidents have these past few days been reported from the town, located in the south of the Netherlands, including a case where grievous bodily harm was inflicted on two victims.
Apparently, the assailants have been terrorising Maastricht for a long period of time and are also affiliated with criminal gangs. Inhabitants, as well as shopkeepers in the city centre, are now completely fed up with the migrant youths.
The boys display aggressive and intimidating behaviour and harass people who are out visiting shops or restaurants. Several persons living in the neighbourhood and employees of bars alike, have complained about the situation to daily De Limburger. One of them is, anonymously, quoted as saying:
“There’s no telling when they show up. One day there are troubles, then it all of a sudden is quiet again for some time. All signs, however, indicate that these bands are closely connected to the drug scene in this precinct.”
Carnival festivities in Maastricht’s city centre were heavily defaced by ‘incidents’ involving the North-African rabble these past few days. Among others, they harassed revellers that were waiting at a bus stop and created “a threatening atmosphere,” witnesses said.
Carol Berghmans, who is a local representative, confirms the existence of the problems with the foreign riff-raffs. “The developments seriously worry me,” he says while referring to a recent case where two young people had been severely battered during Carnival. “And I’m not even mentioning the burglary statistics arising from this district,” Berghmans cries out.
“Especially when the group started provoking and harassing mentally disabled revellers, standing right in front of one of those boys and threatening him with head butt movements and with their fists. The disabled kid was terrified. Thankfully, the bus arrived pretty soon, so two of us were able to lead him away from the aggressors.”
Police monitoring developments closely
Local police say they’re aware of the “complex issues” surrounding the Northern Africans who, in police lingo, are generally referred to as ‘Naffers’, a term that is comparable to the controversial German slang ‘Nafri’s’. Police spokesman Bert van Klaveren responded to questions from the newspaper:
“We have intensified our surveillance in that part of the town centre and we’re monitoring these developments closely.”
According to the Dutch law officer, no arrests relating to the above-mentioned cases have been made so far.