Dutch Daily News 17/12/2013: of City Blues and Lightning Speed Justice

Greetings, fellow lovers of Dutchness. It is I, Frank, with your daily dose of Dutch news.

If I told you that the solution is “shine some light on it”, then you’d probably think that the problem never was a big deal in the first place. But tell that to the people of PHILIPS, the Dutch multi-billion dollar technology company. Starting as a father-son business in the business of making carbon-filament lamps in 1891, PHILIPS has now shed so much light on this world that the Sun is about to get jealous. The latest use for their photon-blasters is using street lights to fight crime. This so-called “intelligent light” is meant to reduce aggression during the crowded and drunken weekend nights. Ridiculous, right? Well, this idea is hardly new: both Tokyo and Glasgow have successfully used something as simple as blue street lights to reduce suicides and bar brawls. Though it is difficult to produce solid figures on how much crime is actually prevented by Instagraming your city, there is enough reason to think that this idea is not so crazy after all.

Blue light: it's worth at least three RoboCops. (source: Flickr)
Blue street lights: it’s worth at least three RoboCops. (source: Flickr)

In other and eternally reoccurring news: calls for TOUGHER PUNISHMENTS! ahoy as the Dutch legal system once again vows to administer higher sentences on those who commit crimes on New Year’s Eve. For some years, the Dutch have used supersnelrecht (roughly translated: ‘lightning speed justice’) against those who disturb the peace on that otherwise calm and serene night. Though somewhat reminiscent of the old days of Soviet show trials, this system of caught-today-sentenced-tomorrow has been well received by the public. How tough are these measures? For the entire duration of December 31st, as well as for the first eight hours of the new year, sentences will get a 75% bonus, and the resulting figure will be doubled when it concerns a crime against either police officers or ambulance personnel. Public intoxication on the other hand, will be rewarded with a € 350,- fine.

Totally worth it, I’d say.

Frank Kool
Born and raised in Holland, spent his time procrastinating and studying Psychology and Philosophy. Frank harbors a special interest in weird social phenomena (which are ALL social phenomenon if you think about them long enough).


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