The Administrative Approach to Organized Crime in Amsterdam

Wim Huisman, University of Free - Amsterdam

For years, the Dutch police and justice department have been fighting a loosing battle. Mid nineties, the fight against organized crime even led to a political crisis. In the parliamentary inquiry that followed, the city of Amsterdam was described as a focus point of criminal activities. Especially in the 'Red Light District', criminal networks were controlling real estate and economic activities. Organized crime was in charge, not the local authorities. These findings led to the realization that combating organized crime is not solely a responsibility of the police or the justice department. Also the local authorities have a role to play. The city of Amsterdam turned its attention to the city of New York, which was liberated from the grip of organized crime in several branches of industry by a combination of administrative and judicial measures. Inspired by this innovative approach, the city of Amsterdam started a special project in which administrative law is used alongside criminal law. This paper will look at the efforts and the results of this crusade against organized crime in Amsterdam. The central aim of the underlying research project is to answer the question: Is this an effective way to fight organized crime?

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Updated 05/20/2006