Dutch police welcome snow as crime busting aid
While commuters complain of disruptions caused by recent heavy snow, Dutch police have welcomed it as an unusual aid in catching illegal cannabis growers and other criminals.
"A clean roof amid others covered in snow is often an indication of the presence of attic growing lights for a cannabis plantation," police spokesman Henri van Pinxteren of the south eastern Brabant region told AFP on Friday.
Police on patrol would list the addresses of homes with clean roofs for later inspection, he said.
"It often leads to arrests. This is a well-known tool for the police in winter," Van Pinxteren said.
The snow of the last week has also allowed police to literally track down several fleeing criminals.
In Sassenheim in the western Netherlands, police on Thursday arrested two teenagers, following their trail after they stole a Christmas tree from a shopping mall and dragged it between them in the snow on their motorcycles.
A fleeing burglar in Goes in the southwest was arrested early Thursday after seeking to hide under a thick layer of snow.
He was betrayed by his footprints leading right up to his hiding place.
"The snow can definitely be a help for the police," said Van Pinxteren.
"It also helps that the cold keeps people indoors, also criminals."
© 2010 AFP