The liberal Dutch capital has long been a magnet for British tourists, but now their behavior is test the indulgence of locals
Richard Hemsley has called Amsterdam every year in the last decade to let off steam with friends in the neon-lit alleyways of its red-light district. Now one of those pals is getting married and “the mens” are apparel in football tops for one last hurrah.
” The liberty to do what you just wanted to do, when you want to do it ,” said Hemsley, a 53 -year-old distribution worker from Eastbourne, East Sussex, justifying what continues attracting him back.” It opened my sees .” His friends pull him off to the Red Light Bar, where customers can booze, smoke weed and watch athletic- all at once, if they wish.
Amsterdam’s reputation as a place where everything starts has come to recur it in recent years, drawing in sightseers whose wild partying are in place to fill the coffers but can shape the lives of occupants a misery.
Last week the city’s ombudsman, Arre Zuurmond, condemned the municipal authorities’ failure to manage the growing gathering, saying service centres had become a lawless” urban jungle” with police spread too thin to keep control.
” Messy, dirty, puking, shitting on the street ,” says Suzanne Bleijenberg, 27, an office worker, of the darknes tourists. She has to cross the red-light district to get to her boyfriend’s room. “It’s annoying,” she says,” because we have to work in the morning .”
She says she has noticed that partying in Amsterdam now goes on every night , not only at the weekends, and criticises stag parties in particular for their rude behaviour and disrespect to fornication laborers. She doubts that emergency services could reach people in the crowded alleys if something went wrong.
” It does not always feel safe ,” she says.” Last week, on Friday, I was baby-sit with a girl for the purposes of an hour before the police get here. She was unconscious, a British girlfriend; she was left alone with her trousers open .”
Nearby, police out on bicycle patrol have indicated that they feel outnumbered. They blame national reorganisation and cost-cutting by the Dutch sovereignties which, they say, has resulted in too few new drafts to supersede retiring police. But the human rights ombudsman was overdoing where reference is labelled developments in the situation “lawless”.