Dé lokale en regionale nieuwssite

Beste bezoeker, Als journalist schrijf ik over actuele zaken. Deze blog heeft al miljoenen bezoekers verwelkomd. Hier vindt u alle, ruim 26.800, gepubliceerde artikelen, verschenen in landelijke, regionale en lokale dag- en weekbladen en magazines. Veel leesplezier! Mocht u onderwerpen aan de kaak willen stellen, neemt u dan contact met mij op: info@writing4u.nl. Foto's kunnen, tegen vergoeding, besteld worden via dit emailadres.

30 april 2014

Self-defense or murder

The old days, when thieves and robbers could threaten innocent citizens and steal valuable items, seem to have gone by. This is thanks to a small jeweler store in Deurne. When two Moroccan robbers threatened the owner of Goldies, insisting on getting as much gold and silver as possible, his wife came to his rescue. She used the gun that the couple had stored just for this kind of robbery and killed both culprits. The couple was pronounced heroes by a large part of the population, but they also suffered heavy criticism. JOEP DERKSEN reports.
It was not the first time that Willy and Marianne Sanders were confronted with robbers. A few years ago, they were threatened by two thieves just outside their store. They managed to protect their belongings, but they made sure that they would be better prepared the next time culprits would come to take their belongings. On Friday 28 March, just before 6 pm, two men entered the store demanding gold. They mostly paid attention to Willy Sanders and did not notice in time that his wife had grabbed their gun. She shot several times, killing both robbers instantly. Her husband sustained a bullet wound to the hand.
After the police was called, the couple was taken in for questioning and released that same weekend. Hoofdofficier (Chief Officer) Bart Nieuwenhuizen stated on television: “We consider this a case of ‘self-defense’. One of the deceased is known to the police, because he has committed similar offences. Two weapons were found; one belonging to the attackers and one to the storeowners. The couple probably did not have a license.”
Nieuwenhuizen was soon criticized for drawing his conclusions too early, and around thirty Moroccan and North African citizens demonstrated in Deurne. They held flags with statements like, ‘Marianne is not a hero’. However, most of the tens of thousands of comments on social media all agreed that “when you risk of robbing a store, you risk getting shot.”
Pieter Vleeming is spokesperson for the organization ‘Bond van Wetsovertreders’ (Union of Law Offenders). “As a union we don’t promote crime, but we fight for the interests of people breaking the law, so that the government respects their rights and does not infringe on those rights.’ Nieuwenhuizen’s conclusions were drawn without proper research, Vleeming states. “The couple illegally possessed a weapon and two people died. In such a case, one should not state self-defense too soon.”
The incident received wide media coverage, and the general feeling that many people were left with was that it is good for people to protect their own belongings.  But will this mindset lead to a different society, in which more violence will occur? After all, when store keepers own handguns, then robbers might use Uzi’s. Vleeming: “Such a course in events cannot be excluded. It may lead to American situations, and ultimately crime will be met with other criminal activities.”
The Union for Law Offenders acknowledges the right for shopkeepers to protect themselves, but this should not be with a gun. “I would have no objections if storekeepers have a can of pepper spray at hand. Strictly speaking, this is not allowed, but you can take out a person with pepper spray for a short period of time. Besides that, pepper spray is almost never lethal.”
The Union for Law Offenders (ULO) became a news topic by itself. Omroep West reported in April, that this action ‘group’ exists of only one man: Pieter Vleeming himself. The ULO has sued the people that have set up the Facebook page ‘Benno L. (a convicted child molester) has to leave from Leiden’. According to Omroep West, even Benno L. himself, who became a member of the ULO, does not want to have anything to do with the Union anymore.
Nevertheless Vleeming asks for compassion for the robbers. “Robbing a store is wrong, but these boys are being left to take care of themselves. When people get out of prison, they have almost no alternatives to make money. More and more employers demand a ‘Verklaring omtrent gedrag’ (Declaration regarding behavior), before they hire somebody. And when you have been in prison, you can’t obtain such a declaration. Since prisoners have to pay for their own time in incarceration, they come out of jail with a huge debt. That means they have to resort to crime in order to get money. When you don’t have any possibility to integrate into society, you’ll end up dealing drugs or robbing stores. Not because you like to do it, but because there’s no alternative.”