Amsterdam tourists warned city is becoming ‘no-go zone after dark’

Tourists heading to Amsterdam are being warned to go home after dark because it is becoming a "lawless jungle."

The city becomes dangerous at night – with groups of unruly young men prowling the streets, drag racing, stealing, shouting with drunkards peeing in the streets.

But police are powerless to stop the gangs and "no longer have a handle on the situation".

Arre Zuurmond, the official city ombudsman, said these men are from the UK and other parts of the Netherlands.

They cause trouble during stag parties and pub crawls, particularly in the red light district.


Mr Zuurmond told Dutch paper Trouw issues have increased during illegal car and bike racing, and open drug trading.

He said: "The city centre becomes an urban jungle at night.

"Criminal money flourishes, there is no authority and police can no longer handle the situation."

Authorities set up cameras in the busy Leidseplein Square, near the bars and clubs, to asses the issue.

But they were shocked at the results at one night, encountered 900 offences between 2am and 4am.

"The atmosphere is grim," Mr Zuurmond added. "There is an air of lawlessness.

Scooters race through the pedestrian areas. There is a lot of shouting. Drugs are being bought. There is stealing. People pee and even poop on the streets.

"There is violence but no action. You can even pee on the van of a mobile (police) unit and the driver won’t say anything."

Mr Zuurmond has moved into the city for two weeks during the height of summer to observe the problem with his own eyes.

He claims 2,000 illegal taxis are also roaming the streets for fares.

The Red Light district has become so unsafe and so packed that it is unlikely an ambulance or a fire truck would be able to get through.

Solutions include cleaning the city up one area at the time, similar to the way the new York underground was dealt with 20 years ago.

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