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24-hour procedures are also to be introduced in Boudry NE

Federal Councillor Beat Jans visited the Boudry Federal Asylum Center in the canton of Neuchâtel on Wednesday. On this occasion, the Minister of Justice announced that 24-hour procedures will also be introduced in Boudry in the coming weeks.

The head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) met with representatives of the canton of Neuchâtel, the municipality of Boudry and civil society organizations to get an idea of the situation on the ground. The Minister of Justice also addressed the concerns raised by the cantonal authorities regarding growing insecurity among the population.

Jans assured the media in Boudry that he takes the concerns of the population very seriously. Together with the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and the cantonal and municipal authorities, numerous social and security measures have been gradually implemented to improve the security situation around the federal asylum center.

For example, external security patrols were deployed to prevent violence and other assaults, as Jans explained. A street mediation project has also been launched.

Since January 1, 2024, a person employed by the canton has been working together with a person from the SEM working in support. As mediating social workers, they will facilitate contact between the local population and asylum seekers. For example, regular meetings will be organized with local residents.

No more overcrowding

The average occupancy rate in Boudry between January 1, 2024 and March 1, 2024 was 307 people per month with a capacity of 480 places. According to the authorities, the maximum capacity has not been exceeded since February 2023. A peak of over 800 people was recorded in the fall of 2022.

According to Jans, the national measures for the asylum system announced in Chiasso TI in February will also be introduced in Boudry in the coming weeks, in particular the 24-hour procedure successfully tested in Zurich. The aim is to be able to conclude asylum applications from people from countries of origin with a low asylum approval rate more quickly, according to Jans.

In terms of security, the possibilities for ordering administrative detention for serious offenders are also to be improved based on the recommendations of Thomas Würgler, the former commander of the Zurich cantonal police. A round table with the federal and cantonal authorities is planned for April in Boudry.

After Basel in January and Ticino in February, Boudry is the third location of federal asylum centers that Federal Councillor Jans has visited.

©Keystone/SDA

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