Expatica news

Police winning crime-fight ‘poker game’

30 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam police issued with packs of cards similar to the ones used by US soldiers in Iraq have successfully collared 18 of the Dutch capital’s most notorious offenders in the past month.

The 600 officers who patrol Amsterdam’s streets were issued in September with the packs that bear the photos of the 52 most wanted criminals in the city.

The cards help officers to quickly identify people sought for theft, drug-dealing, weapon possession and other repeat offences.

Police spokesperson Elly Florax told news agency AFP earlier this month that the system was based on the cards used by US forces to track down Saddam Hussein and other prominent members of his overthrown Ba’ath regime last year.

Most of the people on the Iraqi list have since been either killed or captured by the Americans.

Police in the eastern Dutch city of Arnhem also carry a pack of cards to identify wanted criminals there. 

So far 18 of the people featured on the Amsterdam cards have been rounded up and are in custody, RTL Nieuws reported. Some of the repeat offenders have been put on a special course to help wean them off their criminal ways.

The news comes as a new report shows crime levels in the Netherlands continue to fall. But this does not mean Amsterdam will be crime-free any time soon. The police estimate there is a hardcore group of 500 people who commit petty crimes on a daily basis.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news