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Majority of Amsterdam locals support new approach to Red Light District

A majority of Amsterdammers — Amsterdam locals — says that while the Red Light District is an intrinsic part of Amsterdam, they nevertheless support the notion that the City must place limits on the prostitution business if criminal ties are proven.

That is the result of a poll held by Dienst Onderzoek en Statistiek (Research and Statistics Service) at the request of newspaper Het Parool and local TV station AT5.

“Most people do not immediately connect The Walls [the Red Light District – DA] with crime,” says researcher Jeroen Slot. “most people want to leave The Walls the way they are, but they do want see the extremes — such as human trafficking — addressed.”

Earlier this month the City presented Project 1012 — named after the postal code of The Walls district. The project represent Amsterdam’s plans to clean up the Red Light District., ridding it of crime-related businesses.

Research shows that ninety percent of Amsterdam’s citizens is aware of the plans. 67% agrees, and 78% is of the opinion that the City must actively reduce prostitution businesses if their criminality is proven.

Almost half agrees that this takes places by buying out criminals or alleged criminals. Eleven percent says the City should address prostitution — which is a legal trade in the Netherlands — regardless of criminal ties, and just seven percent of those asked says it is none of the City’s business.

Alderman Lodewijk Asscher has stated that Amsterdam should no longer be famous around the world merely for prostitution and coffeeshops. While, a quarter of Amsterdammers sees nothing wrong with it, 68% thinks it is a good to tone down the international image that Amsterdam is a place where anything goes that is forbidden elsewhere.

Almost three-quarters of those who took part in the poll says the suggestion that the City’s plans might negatively influence tourism should not weigh in the City’s plans for the district.
– Source: Freely translated from Het Parool — Amsterdam’s daily newspaper.

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This post was last updated: Jan. 22, 2014