Safety in Amsterdam

Safety in Amsterdam

Compared to other large cities, Amsterdam is a relatively safe place for both tourists and residents. Violent crimes do not occur here very often. But be aware of pickpockets and thieves, though. Pickpockets are active in crowded places and on trains travelling between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal Station, but you can also encounter them in trams or in places where people watch street artists. Take sensible precautions, mind your belongings carefully, and leave your valuable items at your apartment.

Use it, lose it

There are a few spots in the city where you will see a poster with a picture of a smiling girl talking on the phone and a hand trying to grab her phone, with the text: Use it, Lose it. The message is clear for everyone. Because the smartphones are unfortunately also popular with street robbers, the city of Amsterdam started this awareness campaign to warn you of  the risks of using your phone out in the streets. While you make a call, you might not pay a lot of attention to your surroundings. It occurs that street robbers, mostly riding on scooters, grab a phone out of somebody’s hands and then quickly disappear. The same thing can happen with your purse, of course. These posters are not there to scare you off but to make you aware of such thefts. However, their campaign has been criticized as well. The argument was that it would make the city seem more unsafe then it really is, while crime has been even decreasing over the past few years in Amsterdam. Why not tell that to the people in the streets? Another remark is that it looks like the police can’t handle the situation and warn the citizens instead of catching the criminals.

Lost or stolen iPhone

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If you are a victim of crime, go to one of the police stations. They will take your statement, block your credit cards in the case of theft, and provide you with phone numbers and addresses (consulates, etc).

Useful phone numbers:

Emergency (police, ambulance, fire): 112

Police (theft and other queries): 0900-8844

See very helpful information on: Transportation Options in Amsterdam