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Amsterdam police hands out 37 nightlife restraining orders

Amsterdam, July 20, 2009, DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam police has handed out 37 ‘nightlife restraining orders’ to misbehaving revelers and taxi drivers curing checks at Leidseplein and Rembrandplein this weekend.

The special restraining orders forbid entry to Amsterdam’s nightlife area from Thursday night through Sunday evening.

The orders can be applied at or around Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein an Koningsplein — three squares at the center of nightlife entertainment in Amsterdam.

Police vs taxi driver at Leidesplein

Police in discussion with a taxi driver at Leidseplein.
Detail of photo by Thomas Schlijper

The nightlife restraining order, colloquially referred to as ‘pleinverbod‘ (square restraining order) also covers Leidsestraat, the street that connects Koningsplein and Leidseplein.

Plans for a pleinverbod were already on the table, but the measure was sped up in response to the death of a man killed by a taxi driver earlier this month.

Someone who receives a pleinverbod may not enter Amsterdam’s primary nightlife district from Thursday night through Sunday evening. Those who violate a pleinverbod will be fined, but may also face a judge.

The 37 people who received a restraining order last weekend included 20 taxi drivers and 17 members of the public. The orders were handed out for such things as public drunkenness, not following directions given by police officers, carrying forbidden knives, and violent behavior.

Police paid particular attention to the behavior of taxi drivers. Taxi drivers with a pleinverbod may not offer rides within the entertainment district. One taxi driver was arrested over the weekend for violating the order.

Extra measures against Taxi terror

Amsterdam City is also taking additional measures to combat boorish and criminal behavior among taxi drivers. It has posted guards and supervisors at the Leidseplein taxi rank.

The rank has been notorious for the gang-like behavior of some of Amsterdam’s worst taxi drivers — anything from refusing short rides to charging exorbitant rates, and from intimidating clients and drivers to, most recently, killing a potential client in an argument apparently over illegal fees.

The City will soon place a sign at the rank, informing customers of basic taxi rates.

The public and taxi drivers, minus the notorious misfits, say they are positive about the measures.

Night Mayor

PBS NewsHour Weekend broadcast the following item in May, 2016, noting that the Dutch concept is now copied across Europe:

For more than a decade Amsterdam has had a ‘nachtburgemeester’ or ‘Night Mayor,’ an official charged with being the bridge between the nightlife economy, city officials, and sleeping residents.

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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