Press release

Date: 9 June 2021
Kenmerk: Pb-175

Extra measures against nuisance visitors in the city centre

The municipality of Amsterdam is taking extra measures to ensure that the increase in crowds is managed in the right way to reduce nuisance in the city centre. The recent relaxation of regulations and softer travel advice has already had a visible impact on the city. Parks and terraces are full; public transport is crowded - both on the roads and the water - and there is more liveliness in the streets and squares. On the one hand, this is good news because businesses can finally welcome customers who will bring in revenue again, and cultural institutions can open their doors to visitors once more. However, we do not want to go back to what we saw before the pandemic, where massive crowds in the Red Light District and the city’s entertainment areas caused a nuisance to residents. Visitors who respect Amsterdam and the people of Amsterdam have always been welcome and will, of course, remain so. Visitors who treat our residents and heritage with disrespect are not welcome. The message we have for them is: don’t come to Amsterdam.

Sleeping in cars and wheel clamps
We have noticed that the first stream of visitors from neighbouring countries still often come to the city centre by car, move their vehicle around during the day and park on the canals at night. The ‘sleep in your car’ phenomenon is on the rise, and no payment for parking is made. To prevent this, a so-called ‘sleeper team’ from the municipal enforcement service will carry out checks and impose fines for anyone caught sleeping in their vehicle overnight. Because there is no agreement with most neighbouring countries to collect fines through regular channels, officers will enforce on-the-spot penalties, whereby offenders can pay immediately via a mobile ATM. It is also currently being investigated whether non-paying foreign cars can be issued with a wheel clamp earlier.

Extra effort towards crowd management, water and holiday rental enforcement
With the increase in crowds, enforcement officers will provide extra support in the city centre, particularly on weekend evenings. Additional crowd management measures will be deployed if large numbers of visitors put further pressure on the quality of life in the city centre. For example, certain streets will be closed to motorised traffic and additional enforcement officers, and traffic wardens will be deployed temporarily. In the afternoon and evening, nuisance control on the water will be enforced through measures such as maintaining noise pollution and sailing speed. We are also intensifying the enforcement of illegal holiday rentals.

Ban nitrous oxide and alcohol possession
The mayor temporarily has extra power in the APV to prohibit the possession of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), alcohol and sound equipment at designated places. Locations of particular concern include areas where measures will not be complied with on a large scale, for instance, a large group gathering and hanging out along the side of a canal. There is currently a decision being made by the local council to temporarily prohibit the possession of laughing gas in a specific area of the Red Light District.

Ban on the sale of alcohol in shops
From 5 June 2021, under the temporary covid-19 regulations law, a ban on the sale of alcohol will apply on all days of the week from 10 p.m. The ban previously only applied from 8 p.m. In the coming period, the situation with regard to alcohol sale and consumption in the Red Light District will be monitored so that the mayor can impose a temporary alcohol sales ban as soon as necessary, just like last summer.

Public information is an essential instrument in informing visitors about rules of conduct and applicable standards and can also play a role in spreading visitors across the city. The municipality has prepared several public campaigns in collaboration with amsterdam&partners. One of these campaigns, “Stimulering gewenst gedrag” (Stimulating desirable behaviour), focuses on combating undesirable or nuisance behaviour. This campaign will be deployed both online and physically in the Red Light District and the city’s nightlife areas.

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