SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The man arrested for attempting to rape a student who lived near the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam Noord has previous convictions for sexual assault and was being treated in a psychiatric clinic at the time of the attack, the Parool said on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old’s past was revealed in court, where judges agreed to remand him in custody for a further 60 days. He was allowed to come and go from the clinic where he was being treated following a conviction for sexual assault in September 2016.
It is not clear if the same man was involved in two other incidents close to the student dwellings. In April a 20-year-old student was harassed on her way home and in November another student was beaten up after being jumped on.
The safety of students living in isolated parts of the city has been raised several times in recent days and in early May Amsterdam student body ASVA said there had been 39 incidents, ranging from burglary and break-ins to physical attacks, reported to its hotline within a two-month period.
Then on Tuesday, the city council released figures showing that there have been 30 incidents at housing complexes where students and refugees live side by side and that refugees were the suspects in 25 of them.
But officials could not say if this is in line with the situation at other campuses. Since 2016 the city council has developed 1,100 temporary homes for refugees up to the age of 28 on the fringes of the city.
Officials say that by creating mixed developments with students the refugees will integrate more quickly into Dutch society. The city has now agreed to improve street lighting around the entrances to the housing complexes and to take action sooner if refugees are causing problems.
The Jellinek addiction clinic has been asked to look into the drugs and alcohol use of refugees living in the mixed complexes. Loneliness is also a problem, the city report said.