Amsterdam tram workers to collect spit for dna testing

Amsterdam tramPeople who spit at Amsterdam public transport staff may find themselves with a criminal record now officials have decided to keep samples of sputum for dna testing.

The dna profile will be compared with the national dna data bank and if a match is found, legal action will be taken against the perpetrator. Samples of dna which are not matched will be kept in the data bank for 12 years.

‘There needs to be a drastic reduction in the amount of spitting incidents,’ a transport company spokeswoman told Metro. ‘Being spat at is one of the most insulting forms of aggression. It has a major impact on the victim and this is why we want to protect our staff.’

The ‘spitting kit’ includes a cotton bud, plastic test tube and plastic gloves and will be carried by personnel on transport routes with the most spitting incidents. Similar kits are already being used in Britain.

Metro says the police and justice minister are working with the city’s public transport company on the trial, which began at the start of October. It will run for six months.

Last year 23 incidents of spitting were officially registered, but the transport company says the real total is far higher.