Shoplifters get on-the-spot fine

16th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — Thieves caught in a shopping centre in Amsterdam face a new on-the-spot EUR 151 fine, separate from any sentence imposed later by a judge.

16 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — Thieves caught in a shopping centre in Amsterdam face a new on-the-spot EUR 151 fine, separate from any sentence imposed later by a judge.

Amsterdam municipality hopes this overlastdonatie (nuisance donation) will prove to be an effective measure against shoplifting.

A trial of the scheme in Osdorp has proved so successful that it may be extended to other shopping centres in the city later this year.

Before the introduction of the fine, shopkeepers in Osdorp Shopping Centre used to hand over thieves to the police on a daily basis. Only one shoplifter has been caught in the first months of the scheme, as signs warning of the fines appear to be effective as a deterrent.

"It is a fantastic measure that has an immediate effect," said Hans Otten, chairman of the local retailers association. "Potential thieves think three times before acting. No matter what, it means an extra EUR 151 fine if they get caught, and a portion will flow back to the shop owner."

A large majority of MPs want to introduce the measure in the rest of the country, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported on Wednesday.

Justice officials told the paper that shopkeepers cannot claim for damages after the fine has been paid, but other sentences imposed by a court will still apply. 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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