More mistakes with Amsterdam’s stop and search trial
Amsterdam police carried out 10 stop and search operations last November which broke agreements, according to an internal police investigation quoted in Monday’s Parool.
City mayor Femke Halsema has already stopped the search experiments after a team of police officers entered a youth centre in the west of the city in mid November, and searched everyone inside, in contravention of the agreement. No weapons were found.
Now it transpires the police carried out searches at 10 different indoor locations which did not meet the guidelines. The problems, the Parool quoted the report as saying, are down to poor communication about where and who to check rather than ethnic profiling.
Among the incidents: police checked 15 passengers and the driver on a bus, they searched 10 people waiting at a bus stop, and entered various grill rooms, a petrol station, night shop, a pizzeria, bakery and an internet café.
In total, 126 people were searched for weapons and three were found: a knuckle duster, a folding knife and a taser, the paper said.
In addition, external observers who were present at each check to make sure the police were not acting in a discriminatory way said that youngsters were picked out for checks more often than others, even though this was expressly forbidden. They did not find evidence of ethnic profiling.
Halsema gave city police the power to carry out stop and search operations ‘on an experimental basis’ in five areas of the city, despite the concerns of many councillors.
The trial was allowed to go ahead on the condition people were outside and chosen at random. In total, 25 such operations were planned between October and the end of December.
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