Everybody must get stoned...
Each day between 1600 and 0130 two or three employees of local security firm BG Groep keep an eye on a 250-metre radius around the two coffee shops. They address people who park their cars illegally, throw litter on the street or make a lot of noise. Each day they also mop down the doorways of the coffee shops’ neighbours, pick up cigarette buts and empty cans.
A spokesperson for the Amsterdam police says: It has improved the quality of life in the neighbourhood, our local police officer has nothing but praise for the initiative”. Even the manager of the local day care centre is enthusiastic: It’s never been this clean before here in the playground. We have a fingerprint reader for parents which was always being demolished by problem youths, but there hasn’t been a single incident since the boys from the coffee shop arrived”.
The general improvement in the area is also the result of BG Groep’s special approach to problem youths. Owner Martin Jansen says: You can put some Hell’s Angels or bouncers out on the street, but that won’t work. It’s all about approaching boys the right way, it’s about saying hi and having a chat. These days people are afraid to talk to somebody or they go about it the wrong way around. You need to take it easy, like ‘Hey bud, could you please go stand somewhere else, there’s kids here trying to get some sleep’, and then you’ll get a normal answer”.
Yep everybody must get stoned.)!