Authorities in the Dutch capital have formed a task force to identify the worst offenders behind the 13,000 complaints of antisocial behavior the city receives annually, Amsterdam-based daily Het Parool reported.
|A container housing unit. Sreenshot from youtube.com @Ulftingenwest|
The camp dwellers will supposedly be motivated to change their behavior after they return to the city, authorities said.
"The aim is not to reward people who behave badly with a new five-room home with a south-facing garden. This is supposed to be a deterrent," a mayoral spokesperson said.
Some have dubbed the camps ‘tuigdorpen’ – ‘scum villages’ – over their similarity to the rhetoric of right-wing anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom. Last year, Wilders said that “repeat offenders should be forcibly removed from their neighborhood and sent to a village for scum.”
The controversial proposal sparked widespread debate, with the term becoming the Netherlands’ ‘word of the year’ in a poll conducted by Van Dale, the leading national dictionary.
The new policy will come into effect in January. There are several small-scale trial projects of a similar nature already underway in the Netherlands, including a location near Amsterdam where 10 shipping container homes have been set up for persistent offenders.
The world has an extensive record of communities evicting those seen as misfits: Jewish ghettos in Europe, Bantustans for blacks in apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union’s unofficial ‘rule of 101 km,’ which banned criminals, dissidents and work-dodgers from living closer than 100 kilometers from large cities. The Netherlands is no exception – troublemakers in the 19th century were exiled to live in special villages in Drenthe and Overijssel outside Amsterdam.