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The Hague Safety House: juvenile crime prevention in the city

Annette from the Public Prosecutor’s Office pops into the office of Cecile at the Youth Care Agency to ask whether she has heard about the troubles on the streets the previous evening. A known group of youths made a nuisance of themselves in the neighbourhood. This time it came to a fight between the youths and a neighbourhood resident. Berend, who works for the municipality, explains that the mayor wants an injunction. Policeman Johan adds the youths are detained in the meantime. Any morning at the Safety House (Veiligheidshuis) in The Hague: here we tackle persistent problems of nuisance, trouble-making youths, violence and crime.

All under the same roof: more decisive collaboration

The Safety House is a way to intensify the collaboration between different parties involved when it comes to nuisance: all representatives of the collaborating parties actually have offices in the Safety House. The Safety House’s integrated approach ensures that while unacceptable behaviour is punished the necessary support is also given. All together, the Safety House provides more decisive collaboration – and thus makes The Hague safer.


Mayor van Aartsen: ´In The Hague we are making a direct start with the most ambitious model of the safety house. This is possible because in our city there already is close cooperation between the organisations concerned. Until quite recently, this cooperation happened on a case to case basis, but the safety house makes this collaboration more organised. This means that we can act more effectively to tackle nuisance, trouble-making youths, violence and crime, and in this way make The Hague a safer place.´


The Hague Safety House

The Safety House is organised into 5 clusters. In all 5 clusters the focus is on persons or groups of people, ensuring that no one falls between the cracks:

  • adults
  • youth
  • domestic violence
  • area-bound action
  • aftercare for ex-detainees

 

The adults cluster is concerned with tackling systematic offenders and known criminals and adults who cause nuisance. The youth cluster has a broad and individual approach and deals with young criminals or troublemakers. The domestic violence cluster gives advice but also serves as a complaints office for domestic violence. This cluster coordinates the relevant assistance. The 4th cluster deals with the area-bound approach. Cases are sent here from the various city districts: mostly they concern groups of trouble-making youths that require a more centralised approach of the Safety House. And finally, there is the aftercare for the ex-detainees cluster to bridge the gap between detention and the return to a regular life. Our staff sees to it that well-motivated ex-detainees receive the aftercare they need to build up a new life. This could range from finding a job or a home to acquiring identity documents.

Want to know more about this subject? Register now for EMI´s Public Lecture: when youths disturb city life

A public and interactive lecture on juvenile crime prevention. During which the Mayor of the city of The Hague, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen will elaborate on the Safety House approach in the city The Hague. 
 
The following organisations work together in The Hague Safety House: the Municipality of The Hague, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Haaglanden Police, Reclassering Nederland, the Salvation Army, Palier Materieel Juridische Dienstverlening, Parnassia, The Child Protection Council, Youth Care Agency, Stichting Wende/Advies en Steunpunt Huiselijk Geweld, Bureau Halt, Penitentiaire Inrichtingen Haaglanden and Justitiële Jeugd Inrichting Teylingereind.


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