Amsterdam concerned about series of coffeeshop shootings
Amsterdam is concerned about a series of shootings at coffeeshops in the city. Earlier this week coffeeshop Vondel was closed down after a shooting, the 7th coffeeshop to be targeted in a shooting this past year. Two businesses were even targeted more than once.
Mayor Eberhard van der Laan called the shootings a direct threat to the neighborhood of the coffeeshops in a letter responding to questions from the D66, NOS reports. So far only one person was slightly injured in such a shooting. And in one case neighborhing properties were also hit.
The D66 also wanted to know whether there is another option rather than closing a coffeeshop after a shooting. According to the party, this means the coffeeshop owner is victimized twice. There is also the chance that the shootings are to eliminate the competition, because a shooting results in a coffeeshop closing.
But Van der Laan feels that he can not leave a coffeeshop open at the risk of more shootings. At least not until the motive behind the shootings becomes clear. The police currently have no idea on this front. "We're keeping all options open", a spokesperson said to NOS.
The Amsterdam Union of Cannabis Retailers thinks there's nothing to the theory that the shootings are aimed at eliminating the competition. "In recent years so many coffeeshops disappeared that the remaining businesses are too busy", board member Ferry de Boer said to the broadcaster. "Owners complain about that. With less competition they only get busier. They can not handle it."
The series of coffeeshop shootings started in Amsterdam in October last year. So far the following coffeeshops were closed down indefinitely due to shootings:
- Roxy on Gerard Doustraat, October 2015
- De Kroon 3 on Rietwijkerstraat, January 2016
- The Power on Sarphatistraat, February 2016 and May 2016
- DNA on Achillesstraat, May 2016 and September 2016
- Green Place on Kloveniersburgwal, September 2016
- Blue Lagoon on Overtoom, October 2015
- Vondel on Overtoom, October 2016