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Tuesday 21 October  
Red Light District in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

City council to help police clean up Red Light District

Published on : 9 October 2009 - 5:05pm | By RNW News Desk
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The Amsterdam city council is going to help police track down illegal prostitution and crime in the Red Light District. Special council workers are being recruited and trained to assist police by checking prostitutes’ papers, according to the freesheet Spits.

At the moment it is only the police who check whether the prostitutes working in the sex industry are legal immigrants and that they have not been forced into the world's oldest profession.

The idea is that the city council and the police combine forces to prevent illegality and human trafficking. The council workers’ main duty will be checking the papers of prostitutes to make sure they are working legally.

Human trafficking
They will also be trained to spot signs of human trafficking. If they come across other criminal activities, such as money laundering, they will pass the information on to the police.

It is possible that the council workers will be granted special status, making them a special investigating officers. The council is currently recruiting people for the new post.

Amsterdam is the first city council to take such measures. Initially the new system will be introduced for three years an it will be evaluated every year.

Sleazy image
Two years ago, the city council announced a crack down on crime in the Red Light District. A raft of measures have been introduced to rid the area of its sleazy image.

As a result, entrepreneurs in the area are screened for criminal records before being allowed a licence. Many of the windows once occupied by prostitutes are now filled by shop window dummies wearing designs by fashion students.

Upgrade
The area has been earmarked for an upgrade. The council hopes to attract more restaurants, cultural institutes and businesses from the creative sector. The transformation, which has been dubbed Coalition Project 1012 after the area postcode, is due to take 10 years.

Many Amsterdammers feel the council is taking its nanny state tactics too far and there have been a number of demonstrations against the council's plans.

Discussion

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Kenway 5 August 2014 - 2:59pm

Its a wise decision from the government. I appreciate it and welcomes it whole heartedly. Red light district have been the center for human trafficking and drug dealings lately. So, its better to take the actions before its too late.
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Anonymous 10 October 2009 - 3:35pm
It isn't the prostitutes that make the the red-light district sleazy. It is the drug dealers who frequent the gutters and annoy the tourists and other visitors.

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