07:51 GMT14 April 2021
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    An Amsterdam official drew a picture that pretty much belies the general perception of the city's party antics and lifestyle, with illegal taxis rambling through littered streets and people defecating and peeing in public.

    Arre Zuurmond, Amsterdam's official ombudsman, lamented about the poor performance of city services and unsafe environment for local party-goers and tourists in an interview with the Dutch daily Trouw, describing the nightlife in the city center as an "urban jungle."

    Although in recent years the local authorities toughened the guidelines to tackle public nuisance, including massive fines and penalties, according to Zuurmond, law enforcement officials fail to enable a lawful environment.

    "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," warning that the police "can no longer handle the situation."

    Video surveillance systems document hundreds of offences, the ombudsman laments.

    "One night we counted 900 offences, mainly between the hours of 2:00am and 4:00am. The atmosphere is grim, and there is an air of lawlessness," he said.

    Zuurmond cited such examples of disorderly behavior and public safety violations as scooters zooming through pedestrian areas, illegal taxis, the open sale of drugs, pickpocketing, and people "peeing and pooping" on the streets.

    Moreover, his Twitter account offers multiple images of streets filled with litter, which remains piled up outside people's houses for weeks.

    The report prompted wide-ranging reactions on Twitter, with some users blaming the disorder on the local police.

    Others contend that the shadow reason behind this is "cultural enrichment."


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    public nuisance, disorder, police, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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