Amsterdam to experiment with stop-and-search after shootings

Amsterdam to experiment with stop-and-search after shootings

Amsterdam is implementing stop-and-search in the city on a trial basis, following a number of violent incidents this month. “We are going to implement this on a trial basis,” mayor Femke Halsema said in a meeting of the General Affairs committee, AT5 reports. “And evaluate it per time. Initially for a month.”

The stop-and-search actions will be small-scale in specific “hotspots”. Kids up to 12 years old, people over 65, and families will be excluded from the searches. Independent observers will be present to watch against discrimination.

A similar proposal was made and rejected earlier this year, due to a lack of support among councilors. But after a number of violent incidents this month, including the death of Bas van Wijk at the Nieuwe Meer and three shootings in which two people were hurt this week, stop-and-search was reexamined.

Halsema understands that this is a far-reaching measure. She also stressed that it is not a magic cure that will immediately stop violence in the city.

The measure has political parties in the city divided. Far-right party FvD is fully behind the measures. “Not introducing this is playing with the lives of the residents of Amsterdam,” Annabel Nanninga said to AT5. “I always have a lot of criticism of the mayor, but if something is good then something is good. We are happy, but it is also a pity that it had to cost so many debates and that things got so out of hand.” Other opposition parties like CDA and VVD also emphasized the need for this measure.

Coalition parties D66 and GroenLinks, as well as opposition parties DENK, Bij1, and PvdD, are against. “We think it is a very harsh remedy. Searches could not have prevented violence in recent weeks,” Femke Roosma of GroenLinks said. “I think designating an area in itself can be stigmatizing. And that’s what I am against.”

The PvdA explicitly demanded that independent observers be used to combat discrimination – something Halsema agreed to.