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A book with no words and then words fail me [November 20, 2010]
Rather splendid publication caught my eye online this morning - Het Amsterdamboek - with 10,000 picture of the city. It's on my Christmas list.
I was also struck by a story in Friday's Parool about Amsterdam police's 'autumn offensive against armed robbers'.
And very offensive it is too. Apparently the police are carrying out controls at 250 places all over the city to collect information about 'young men on scooters or driving in expensive cars'.
The police are apparently plucking cars and scooters out of traffic on instinct. Then the scooter drivers and motorists are photographed - if they agree - and their vehicles searched.
The paper observed a control in the Rivierenbuurt involving 200 police offers over a nine hour period. The aim, the paper says 'is to fill up a computer file with information about robbers and potential robbers'.
So if the police stop you because your car looks too expensive and they take your photo you will end up in a database of potential armed robbers will you? The article does not make it very clear but you have been warned.
Quite how legal this all is obviously by the by. They've just introduced stop and search powers in our neighbourhood. I'm waiting for the chance to say no and quote the European human rights act.