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Stop and search rules need an overhaul to allow selection, says mayor

Friday 08 March 2013

The current stop and search legislation needs to be changed so police can select who to search, Utrecht mayor Aleid Wolfson says in an interview with the Telegraaf.

At the moment, stop and search procedures involve a search of everyone in an area decreed to be risky.

‘But this takes a lot of police time and the results are disappointing,’ Wolfson told the Telegraaf. ‘It also infringes the privacy of a lot of innocent citizens. This lack of selection makes it an ineffective measure.’



Wolfson would like a change in the system to allow the police to select who to search, under the supervision of a judge. Police would have to justify their decisions to the official, which would stop discrimination, the mayor said.

‘Do not forget that police officers have intuition and experience and often know very well who is walking round with drugs or weapons,’ Wolfsen told the paper.

His comments follow an evaluation of the stop and search policy operating around the Breedstraat in Utrecht, where drugs use, prostitution and petty crime are a serious problem.

Between May and December last year, 630 people were searched but just three weapons were recovered, the paper says.

New rules

Parliament on Tuesday passed legislation allowing local mayors to impose 12-hour stop and search controls if they fear public order may be under threat.


The proposal was passed by an overwhelming majority of MPs. D66 voted against, saying stop and search operations are a serious infringement of personal privacy.

The new rules will also allow police to search 'on and in the body' of people they arrest, website PrivacyBarometer.nl stated.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Just because a judge is involved doesn't mean there will be less chance of discrimination. The Dutch judiciary are racist. Foreigners convicted of the same crime as a white Dutch person tend to receive harsher sentences than the "autochtoon".

By groverpm | 9 March 2013 10:25 AM

Searches based on the police's trained sense is laughable. Police need probably cause before conducting a search; anything less is a violation of our civil rights and a danger to our liberty.

By Quince | 9 March 2013 4:47 PM

I should think that the police had better have a good reason to search in and on my body. Because if not, the consequences could be quite damaging indeed.

By K | 9 March 2013 10:53 PM

Do you have a source for that, groverpm?

By pepe | 11 March 2013 12:27 PM

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