“Urban Jungle At Night”: Amsterdam Police Powerless To Stop Late-Night Mayhem
After turning a blind eye to rampant drug use and out-of-control tourists, Amsterdam’s Red Light District hs become an “urban jungle at night,” according to city ombudsman Arre Zuurmond.
“The city center becomes an urban jungle at night,” Zuurmond told Dutch newspaper Trouw, adding “Criminal money flourishes, authority no longer exists and the police can no longer handle this situation.”
Tasked with investigating mayhem in the Red Light District, Zuurmond set up three CCTV cameras in the middle of bustling Leidseplein square, located in the southwestern part of the city center, and was shocked at what was recorded.
One night we counted 900 offences, mainly between the hours of 2:00am and 4:00am. The atmosphere is grim, and there is an air of lawlessness…Scooters race through the pedestrian areas. There is a lot of shouting. Drugs are being bought. There is stealing”
“There is violence but no action. You can even piss on a mobile police van without the driver even saying anything,” Zuurmond added.
The Red Light District is notoriously packed with revelers in the evenings who enjoy getting high and having sex – however as is many times the case, cities which offer such vices are often plagued with the crime that comes with it. Human trafficking, for example, has long been a major issue in the district. Efforts to combat the phenomenon with Amsterdam’s so-called “Project 1012” – named after the postal code, was only partially successful according to an Amsterdam court.