Amsterdam Mayor Writes Letter Explaining Son’s Arrest and Addresses Accusations of a “Cover-Up”

The son of Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema was arrested last month after being caught breaking and entering a houseboat. Halsema has written an open letter to give her side of the story and criticizes the Telegraaf for running a story on the incident that wrongly convicts her underaged son. 

Armed intruder or a silly mistake? What’s going on here in Amsterdam?

The Crime

The Telegraaf wrote that Halsema’s 15-year-son and his friend broke into a houseboat in mid-July during a burglary. They were chased and caught by police and found to be carrying two (fake) knives, an alarm pistol was also found along their escape route. The investigation is still ongoing.

Halsema Defends Son

In a public letter released today, Halsema lambasts The Telegraaf for wrongly accusing her son of a crime he did not commit. She writes in her letter that he was only “messing around with his friends in an abandoned houseboat” and not in fact, attempting a heist. She urges people to see that it was not the pre-meditated and nasty crime the Telegraaf paints it as.

She agrees point blank that he did in fact break the law, by carrying fake weapons, and writes “for that he will have to bear the consequences”.

Source: originally posted to Flickr as Twitter party Femke Halsema

Halsema and her son: a cover up?

Some people fear that the controlled arrest which is causing frustration in the police community coupled with her publishing this letter is a cover up of the real crime. Halsema disagrees and says she only wants him to be treated like any other Amsterdam boy.

Media attention over a crime when it involves someone famous disrupts fair judicial process. Halsema iterates this when she says “In other cases of a fifteen-year-old boy, his information would never have been made public. My son, everyone after today, knows what he did – friends, teachers, and family – before a court judgment was passed”, NL times reports. 

The police gave him name suppression initially but that is the normal route to protect minors. In order to prevent favouritism, the case was transferred to the Public Prosecution Service in Haarlem.

Halsema concludes her letter by reiterating her son is an ordinary Amsterdam kid who must suffer the repercussions of his mistake but certainly does not  “deserve any public punishment just because he’s my son.”

Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


  1. Boys will be boys? I don’t know about you but breaking and entering is not an activity regular teenage boys do, criminals do. It’s wrong and you should strive to curb the behavior while you still can rather than mustering up excuses that can potentially result in your child becoming a criminal in the future.
    Fake knives/weapons?! Suppose your kid gets shot for entering someone’s home with fake weapons. Someone’s life gets ruined because you chuck ish like this to “boys will be boys.” Simply ridiculous.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

Heavy winds are taking off while Schiphol flights stay grounded

With many overnight cancellations due to a malfunction and Code Yellow winds halting even more flights today, Schiphol Airport hasn't had a "breezy" start...

NS to temporarily halt train service after conductor was severely beaten

Dutch railway company NS will temporarily suspend its services on Saturday night, after one of its conductors was severely attacked by a group of...

Dutch Quirk #55: Be rollerskating royals (and even hold skate parties) 

So, it’s the weekend, and you’re hanging out with your Dutch friends, wondering what to do when they suggest you go to a rollerskating...

It's happening

Upcoming events

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.