A new scheme in Amsterdam will see anti-social neighbours, including those who abuse their neighbours because of their sexual orientation, forced to move into a so-called ‘scum village’. The mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laun, has put forward the scheme, which will see a village of houses made from shipping containers built on the outskirts of the city. Those who persist with extreme anti-social behaviour over a long period of time will be forced to move into the houses, which have limited services, for a period of six months. Police will patrol the village constantly and social workers will visit regularly. Homophobia has been specifically mentioned in much of the media coverage of the scheme and it is thought anti-gay abuse is top of the list of reasons why people will get evicted.
But the project is not without its critics, not least because an almost identical scheme was suggested by the populist far-right party – Party for Freedom. Despite this, many people in the city support the idea and feel it will be a good deterrent for those who have had warnings about their anti-social behaviour. The mayor explained that despite the idea being shared with his far-right rival, the idea is in fact very liberal. “We want everyone to be who he and she is – whether they are gay and lesbian and are then victims of harassment, let them stand up to violence We as a society want to defend them.”