Significant increase in drug-related criminality in South
There has been a huge increase in the amount of street dealers and drug-related criminality in the South of the Netherlands since the ban on tourists from visiting coffeeshops, the AD has reported.
Drug-related offences risingp
Based on police and municipality statistics, research by the newspaper has revealed that the number of drug-related offences in Maastricht has doubled, while the problem has tripled in Roermond, where the mayor believes there to be some 60 street dealers now active.
The number of drug-related incidents whereby the police were involved rose by 33 percent in Southern municipalities, compared with a four percent rise in municipalities without the wietpas.
Nuisance has moved to the streets
Last year the Dutch tip line for reporting crime anonymously, Meld Misdaad, reported a 34 percent increase in reports of drugs-related incidents, naming the wietpas as the major cause.
People living in the areas where the wietpas has been implemented are reported in the AD as claiming that the nuisance surrounding coffeeshops has simply moved from the shops themselves and onto the street.
Alternatives being sought
Despite the outcry from some residents, the Maastricht municipality does not believe that street dealing has become a problem and is sticking to their principles on the ban on tourists from coffeeshops in the area.
Alternative to the wietpas are being sought, though. Last month, the city of Utrecht revealed how it was applying for the right to open "Cannabis Clubs" in order to regulate the production of cannabis and perform medical research into the dangers of the drug.
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