Tackling safety and quality of life at Hoog Catharijne and the Station District
The problem of nuisance and crime caused by addicts and homeless people first materialised soon after Hoog Catharijne opened in 1973. Around 1999, the municipality and the Dutch Railway Services decided to tackle the problems caused by a large number of drug addicts 'living' in the dispatch road running underneath the station (commonly known as ‘junkies tunnel’), which was the scene for drug dealing and other crimes including violence, nuisance and pollution.
The subsequent improvements in security and quality of life brought about by this project are the result of numerous measures that can be summarized as a ‘tough and social’ approach, aimed at reducing nuisance and crime rates and improving the living circumstances of addicts in Utrecht. What has made this approach so effective is the combination of prevention, care and repression.
The project started in 2001 and is still running.
Last review: August 2006.