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Fine will answer wolf whistlers

Published on 16/12/2003

16 December 2003

AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam is making a serious attempt to clean up the city and after recently taking action against smokers who throw their butts on the street, wolf whistling at a woman will in future carry the risk of a EUR 40 fine.

The harbour city announced on the weekend that wolf whistling at women was being banned at Central Station. But a police spokesman said the fine would only be imposed if the whistling was considered “undesired”.

He said not all women were opposed to be whistled at and that some of them even considered it a compliment. Therefore, when police see a woman being spoken to or whistled at, she will be immediately asked if she is  to the experience.

If the woman did not enjoy the attention, the man in question will be fined and five men have already been fined at Central Station for such behaviour. The fines also apply to — albeit the less frequent — undesired whistling at men by women, or same sex whistling.

The crackdown against undesired wolf whistling dates back six months ago when police and the public prosecution agreed to devise a method to prevent the practice, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

The police spokesman said authorities received so many complaints from women who felt intimidated at the station by male youths, that a method was devised to crackdown on the problem.

The new measure comes after Rotterdam announced last week that smokers who throw their cigarette butt on the ground will be fined EUR 46 starting from 1 January. The emptying of an ashtray will cost EUR 231.

From 1 January, government legislation requiring a smoke-free workplace comes into forces and police concerns has been raised that cigarette butts will be increasingly found on the street because workers will now be forced to smoke outside, news agency Novum reported.

Companies in the Rotterdam city centre have been sent a letter warning them of the new littering law. They have also been requested to place ashtrays out the front of their premises.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news