Amsterdam coalition parties GroenLinks, D66 and SP want to move prostitution out of the Red Light District by issuing new prostitution permits for areas outside the city center. They hope that this will relieve some pressure on the busy city center, and make sex workers' lives easier and safer. But not all sex workers are pleased with his idea.
The court in Amsterdam convicted seven out of eight men for public violence for their role in a brawl in Amsterdam's Red Light District which ended in the death of 32-year-old Robert Gerritsen two years ago. The court ruled that the blow that ended Gerritsen's life was made in self defense, and 22-year-old Romanian Mirci M. was therefore not punished for it, RTL Nieuws reports.
The municipality of Amsterdam is preparing experiments with three boat-related measures to see if they can reduce inconvenience for residents and business owners in the crowded city center. The first is a pleasure boat ban on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal in the afternoon and evening, AT5 reports.
An increasing number of prostitutes working in Amsterdam's Red Light District are struggling with debts, that can range from 10 thousand euros to 30 thousand euros, newspaper Trouw reports based on its own research.
No total overview is available, but the debt problem is large, three Christian organizations that support prostitutes in the Red Light District - the Salvation Army, Scharlaken Koord and Bright Fame - confirmed to the newspaper.
Amsterdam is implementing cleaning breaks in the Red Light District during busy nights. Parts of the street will be temporarily be closed to the public, so that the mess left by visitors can be cleaned up. This is one of the measures new mayor Femke Halsema is taking to quickly solve problems in the overcrowded Amsterdam city center, following damning reports by the city's ombudsman, Het Parool reports.
At night the Amsterdam city center devolves into "lawlessness" to such an extent that the police can no longer handle it, Amsterdam Ombudsman Arre Zuurmond said to Trouw. The police confirmed his findings to the newspaper.
After multiple complaints from local residents, especially residents around the Red Light District and Leidseplein, Zuurmond decided to rent a home in the Red Light District to experience the situation for himself.
Mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam is making an "ultimate attempt" to convince the lower house of Dutch parliament to hire more police officers. She is discussing this matter with Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, the Telegraaf reports.
Halsema toured Amsterdam's Red Light District during the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the newspaper. She denies that there is complete "lawlessness", as Amsterdam's ombudsman Arre Zuurmond said in previous reports. "But it is true that there are far too few enforcers and officers."
Amsterdam Red Light District Tour is releasing an app with which tourists can tour through the popular district on their own, with the help of virtual guide 'Sophie'. The company hopes that this will help reduce problems caused by tourists entering the district in groups, Het Parool reports.
The app costs 4.49 euros for iPhone and 4.99 euros for Aindroid. It includes a 2 hours long tour during which Sophie will take you past 31 stops, from Schreierstoren to the Nieuwmarkt. During the tour, Sophie talks to 22 experts and people who work in the neighborhood.
The municipality of Amsterdam's ambitious project to clean up the city center only partially succeeded, the Amsterdam Metropolitan's Court of Auditors said in a report about the project. The Red Light District is still marred by crime and human trafficking, according to the court, NOS reports.
The city of Amsterdam implemented stricter rules on guided tours through the Red Light District on April 1st. These rules are intended to reduce crowds in the busy area, and to help protect sex workers' privacy.
My Red Light, the sex worker-run window brothel that opened in Amsterdam's Red Light District in May last year, is facing financial difficulties.
Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg is annoyed at a number of supermarkets in the Red Light District, that bought extra beer and liquor to sell to English football supporters who came to the Dutch capital to watch the Netherlands vs England practice match. These supermarkets did not take their responsibility to prevent drunken football hooligans rampaging through the city, according to him, Het Parool reports.
British football association FA released a statement condemning English football fans' behavior in Amsterdam around a friendly match between the Dutch and English teams on Friday. Around 100 British football fans were arrested in the Dutch capital on Thursday and Friday, mostly for disrupting public order, according to RTL Nieuws.
Most of the arrested supporters have since been fined and sent home, according to the broadcaster.
The municipality of Amsterdam is taking extra measures to manage the crowds of tourists expected to visit the city over Easter weekend. Last Easter weekend 20 to 25 percent more tourists visited the Dutch capital than the year before, Het Parool reports.
Extra trams will run during Easter weekend, from March 30th to April 2nd. Lines 1, 2, 5, 5 and 9 will run on an extended timetable. The city will advice visitors with cars to park on a site on the outskirts of the city, and to use public transit from there.
The measures the Amsterdam municipality is taking against crowds in the city center are not reducing problems for residents, Amsterdam Ombudsman Arre Zuurmond said in a new report. The inner city is "a jungle at night, in which survival of the fittest applies and in which the government is intolerably absent", the Ombudsman said, Het Parool reports.
Metje Blaak, former sex worker and a candidate for 50Plus in the Amsterdam municipal elections, wants to charge an entry fee of five euros for the Red Light District. According to her, this is an effective way to reduce crowds in the area and to make sure that sex workers aren't driven away, the Telegraaf reports.
A man seriously injured himself when he wanted to express his dissatisfaction about an Amsterdam sex worker by breaking the window of a brothel in the Red Light District during the early hours of Sunday morning, AT5 reports.
The man sustained some sever cuts on his back and had to be taken to hospital, where he received multiple sutures, according to the broadcaster.
After treatment, he was arrested and spent the rest of the night in a cell.
Amsterdam is implementing stricter rules for guided tours through the Red Light District from April, the city announced. The new rules, which are intended to reduce crowds in the busy area and to protect the privacy of sex workers, include a ban on tour groups larger than 20 people, and not allowing photographs to be taken of sex workers.
"The number of organized tours has increased considerably in recent years. At the busiest moments, such as between 11 and 12 in the morning, 27 groups visit the Oudekerksplein in an hour", the city of Amsterdam said in a statement.
In his first New Year's Day address to Amsterdam, Acting Mayor Jozias van Aartsen praised Amsterdam as a respected capital city, one that "feels connected to the rest of the country." The annual address lauded efforts to reduce overcrowding in the city center, the development of new neighborhoods and hotspots, and focused attention on continued need for public transit investment.
The city of Amsterdam is implementing a crowd monitoring system to help keep the city safe and accessible for residents and visitors during the busy Christmas season. The system uses smart cameras and WiFi sensors to measure pedestrian traffic on the street. This data is analyzed and used by the police and municipality to make decisions on crowd control, the city announced in a press release.
Amsterdam Centrum wants to reduce traffic problems in the Red Light District by closing certain roads to taxis at night. The district proposed a 6 month experiment in which taxis will not be allowed on several streets around the Red Light District between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Thursday night to Monday morning, Het Parool reports.
The police arrested a total of 148 suspects in a so-called 'civilian action' in Amsterdam's Red Light District over the weekend. Arrests were made for public drug use, possession of hard drugs, drug dealing, mugging and pickpocketing, AT5 reports.
A massive 72 of the arrests were drug related. 15 people were arrested for begging, and 18 for disrupting public order. Two muggers and two pickpockets were arrested. And another man was taken to the police station for carrying pepper spray.
The bodyguard of Amsterdam sex club owner Jan Otten was shot in the leg during an armed robbery early on Sunday morning. He was injured while fighting with two men trying to rob Otten.
The armed robbery happened in front of Otten's home on Hilverbeekstraat. Otten told the Telegraaf that he is "properly shaken up" by the incident. "I shouted at my guard: give them the bag, but he's not afraid of anything and first pushed me into my home and then went to fight with the robbers."
The city of Amsterdam is launching an experiment on Monday in which surveillance cameras and WiFi sensors will be used to snap pictures in the Red Light District to monitor crowds. In this way the municipality wants to find out whether it is necessary to better manage the flow of people through the area, to prevent unmanageable crowds, AD reports.
The experiment starts Monday and lasts for four weeks. It will be done in Stoofsteeg, Oudekennissteeg and part of the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.