Amsterdam police get Romanian help
Colleagues from Romania will reinforce the Amsterdam police team to tackle pickpockets, writes Mayor Eberhard van der Laan in a letter to the council. The aid consists of the exchange of information about the perpetrators.The pick pocket problem has increased since 2009, writes Van der Laan. Statistics show that last year 166 people became a victim of pick pockets weekly. Most of the perpetrators were Romanian.
In recent months dozens of Romanians were arrested in the capital for pickpocketing. At the Gay Pride, 43 Romanians were caught stealing purses and smartphones from the pockets of people in the audience. The police think it's the work of a well-organized gang.
The Romanian authorities offered to aid the Amsterdam police in addressing the problem. The police will evaluate when to best deploy the Romanians.
This is one of the measures Amsterdam takes against pickpocketing. The Amsterdam police also has a special 'pickpockets team' active, which is also utilized against shoplifting and menace.
Other measures are education and prevention. People need to realize a smart phone is an expensive device that appeals to thieves and pickpockets, says the police.
The police advocates to make smart phones unattractive to pickpockets. Mobile phone providers are already working on techniques to disable stolen phones remotely.