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Rotterdam Police Can Now Confiscate Clothes from People on the Street Who Look Too Poor to Afford Them

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Police in the Dutch city of Rotterdam have a controversial new pilot program that targets young men wearing designer clothing or expensive jewellery who look like they’re too poor to afford the items in question. If they can’t adequately prove how they were able to purchase their clothes and/or accessories, the items will potentially be confiscated on the spot, with suspects expected to strip down in the street.

via Oddity Central:

“We’re going to undress them on the street,” Rotterdam police chief Frank Paauw told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “We regularly take a Rolex from a suspect. Clothes rarely. And that is especially a status symbol for young people. Some young people now walk with jackets worth €1,800. They do not have any income, so the question is how they get there.”

The department spokesperson said that the items police would be on the lookout for included “big Rolex[es], Gucci jackets, all those kinds of clothes.” The spokesperson could not, however, specify what types of crime they’re hoping to reduce with the program.

Critics have attacked the program, saying that the confiscation measures might be illegal and that it could quickly lead to racial profiling.

“Police won’t consider a white guy walking around in an expensive jacket to be a potential drug dealer,” Quincy, a 20-year-old Rotterdam resident told VICE. “But it’ll be a different story with minorities.”

As one Rotterdam resident interviewed by VICE said,

“I think it’s a strange way of trying to catching criminals. Why not just arrest a drug dealer when he’s actually dealing drugs?”

Indeed. Let’s try and keep this story out of the hands of bigoted American AG Jeff Sessions. Seems like just the thing he’s latch onto with his tiny possum paws and never let go.


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