News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Hash ban evaluation ‘biased’

24 January 2008 - The ban on smoking hash in public around the Mercatorplein in de Baarsjes has been effective, according to an evaluation carried out by O+S. However, GroenLinks party leader Coos Hoebe says that the study is biased and should not be used as a basis for a decision on the continuation of this controversial measure.

GroenLinks is going to ask independent researchers for a second opinion on the O+S findings. O+S researcher Jeroen Slot says that he has confidence in the outcome of such a second opinion. The O+S report was commissioned by the de Baarsjes administration, which was also responsible for the introduction of the hash ban.

The ban was introduced on 1 February 2006 as a way to deal with young people who hang around hash-selling coffee shops, urinate in public and show anti-social behaviour. GroenLinks says that the police should do something at the anti-social behaviour rather than fine people for smoking hash. The party also argues for more preventative measures.

According to the O+S report, a majority of local residents and business owners are in favour of the hash ban. There are no indications that problems have spread to areas outside the hash ban area.

However, Hoebe says that some of the data in the report have been interpreted in a suggestive manner. “Further, it seems that outcomes that are inconsistent with the position of the administration have simply been left out of the conclusions. Such as the fact that only 21% of residents say that problems have decreased”.

The positive conclusions of the report are based on subjective judgements of residents and business owners. The more concrete police data paint a different picture. According to these data, it is unclear whether the situation in the Mercatorplein area has improved at all.

Reports of drugs and alcohol-related problems around the Mercatorplein showed a significant decrease. However, the same applies to other parts of West. Reports of youth creating problems have almost doubled in the Mercatorplein area since the introduction of the hash ban. The occurrence of such problems increased in other parts of West as well, but the increase has been less extreme in most other districts.

It seems that the hash ban has had an effect on how residents and business owners experience their situation, but did not lead to a reduction of the actual number of reported problems in the Mercatorplein neighbourhood.

Slot says he does not agree with that conclusion. However, he adds that it is difficult to measure the effect of one specific measure, given the multitude of factors that affect the behaviour of problem youth.


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here