Residents of Ter Apel are urging politicians to take quick action for their security situation. “Hurry up, step on the accelerator”

Dozens of residents of Ter Apel have asked the Westerwolde city council to do something quickly about the security situation in their village.

They did so on Wednesday evening in the town hall in Sellingen, during a council committee meeting. Their spokesman Dick Ravestein had requested speaking time and told in detail about the nuisance caused by a group of residents of the asylum center in Ter Apel, especially safelanders, in the form of shoplifting, burglaries, people being harassed, stabbing incidents.

It will continue this winter

In recent winters, according to him, it has always been relatively quiet when it comes to nuisance. ,,But in this winter it just goes on and there is no question of rest. People in the village suffer from it, but also the real refugees in the asylum center.” Ravestein also said that because of this constant nuisance, a kind of vigilante has been formed that keeps an eye on things and warns the police where necessary.

He said that the municipal administrators have been talking to ministers in The Hague for a long time, taking or announcing all kinds of measures, but that nothing or too little changes for the better. ,,Therefore make haste, step on the accelerator”, he urged mayor Jaap Velema and the council members.

Tens of thousands of asylum seekers

According to him, this haste is necessary because again this year he is counting on tens of thousands of asylum seekers coming to Ter Apel, with all the risks of nuisance as a result. “That number will certainly come here if there are no more registration centers elsewhere in the country.”

A measure that, according to Ravestein, can reduce the nuisance is closing the asylum center from eleven o’clock in the evening. The troublemakers would then no longer be able to enter the village and cause nuisance there. Detection gates at the reception location that reveal the possession of weapons are also an option, according to him. And if the nuisance becomes too bad, the reception center should be closed temporarily or not, according to him.

Financial support

“And I also think that people who, for example, want to secure their home extra after a burglary, should be able to ask the municipality for financial support,” Ravestein concluded. “Because the purchase of that material costs a lot.” According to him, better information from the municipality for the Ter Apelers is also necessary.

The municipal councilors showed understanding for the concerns and frustrations of the Ter Apelers, but also stated that efforts are being made to improve the situation in all kinds of ways. Velema said that she can also imagine the concerns. “This winter the nuisance will indeed continue, I also told Secretary of State Eric van der Burg that this week.” Velema also emphasized that the municipality is doing its utmost to reduce the nuisance.