According to the police, one in eight farmers in Twente has been approached by someone who had a lot of money left to rent an empty shed or shed. Not a single farmer says he took up that offer.
As in many other rural areas, the police, the judiciary and municipalities in Twente are concerned about what is happening in empty barns on farms. It can be tempting for farmers to rent out such a space for a lot of money, without it being clear exactly what happens to it next. The countryside is interesting for criminals because small police stations in those regions have often been closed for a long time.
Two years ago the alarm was raised when it turned out that drug nuisance was increasing in rural areas. These were illegal laboratories for the production of synthetic drugs, but also barns that were used as hemp plantations.
Sometimes this leads to life-threatening situations. For cannabis farms, electricity is often illegally tapped. Drug labs are chemical factories for ecstasy and amphetamines, with the risk of explosions and the practice of illegal waste disposal. In the past, for example, narcotics were discharged into manure pits, and liquid waste leaked onto the asphalt.
The folder Look Out!
Since then, the organization Meld Misdaad Anoniem has called on to report suspicious rentals anonymously. In addition, police officers in Central Twente visit every farm in the region to personally warn. In total, Prins and his colleagues walked into the yard of about a thousand farmers.
Under the motto Prevent misuse of your property and know who you are renting it to! do they share the folder How New! from. This also happens in the Northern Netherlands and Gelderland.
In Twente, farmers are hardly or not at all sensitive to the big money, according to the police. “The project may have been a success, we are not there yet”, Prins says cautiously. “The trick is to prevent vacancy in the countryside.”