SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam is taking extra measures to reduce pressure on the city’s popular red-light district which is packed with tourists in the summer months.
The measures, implemented by new mayor Femke Halsema, come just days after the city’s ombudsman again described central Amsterdam as a ‘lawless jungle ‘, generating headlines around the world.
Halsema has already said she will do her utmost to persuade justice minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus to increase the number of police operating in the city’s red-light district and popular nightlife areas.
In addition, the city will now impose what officials call ‘mop pauses’ in busy streets. Tourists will be excluded from certain areas to allow cleaning crews to move in and remove waste and vomit.
Visitor numbers will also be closely monitored and if too many people have packed in, crowd control measures will be introduced, and some streets may be closed off. Street wardens will also be given mobile payment machines so that tourists can pay fines for dropping litter or public urination directly.
More wardens will also be put on duty to monitor pleasure boats and fine those which sail too fast or break other rules. Ombudsman Arre Zuurmond told the Parool the new measures are a first step.
‘This is important because the council is showing it means business immediately,’ he said. (DutchNews)