Amsterdam youth complain about police
4 June 2007, AMSTERDAM - A group of about 50 youth from the Amsterdam area of Bos en Lommer has complained to mayor Job Cohen (Labour PvdA) about intimidation, discrimination and abuse by police.
4 June 2007
AMSTERDAM - A group of about 50 youth from the Amsterdam area of Bos en Lommer has complained to mayor Job Cohen (Labour PvdA) about intimidation, discrimination and abuse by police.
The young people sent a letter with a list of signatures to the city council on Friday. The group says it feels "threatened and unsafe" because of police officers.
The youth complain in the letter about officers at the police department on the Admiraal de Ruyterweg in the capital. They allegedly "discriminate against Moroccan youth" in the neighbourhood. Officers reportedly issue "unnecessary fines" based on suspicions.
The youth also claim that the police use unnecessary "physical violence" against primarily Moroccan youth.
The Amsterdam-Amstelland police did not want to respond to the allegations in the letter. A spokesperson did say that the leadership at the department is taking the complaints seriously. "I just don't understand why they never made these complaints known to us. Now we have to wait and see what the city council is going to do. I understand that the letter doesn't mention concrete examples. The complaints are very general."
The youth told local television station AT5 that they had tried repeatedly to complain to the police department but "in order to avoid riots with the police" they decided to send a letter to Cohen.
Nor did the municipality wish to comment at this point. "We have received the letter," a spokesperson said. "The case still has to be discussed by the city council. The letter will be treated like a regular complaint."
The Amsterdam neighbourhood of Bos en Lommer is included on a list of 40 problem neighbourhoods drawn up by Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration Ella Vogelaar (Labour PvdA). She visited the area at the end of May.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news