3.300 ID fines in the Netherlands in 1 month

By EDRi · February 9, 2005

In the first month of the new ID obligations in the Netherlands, the Dutch police have issued 3.300 fines to people who could not immediately show a valid ID when asked. According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, the ID checks mainly take place in specific circumstances. “ID control mostly occurs in situations of disorder or possible violence, for example at night in entertainment districts. Also in situations with an elevated risk of disorder, such as soccer matches, the police may verify the identity.”

In reality, the main result of the new ID obligations is a major increase in fines. People cycling on their bicycle without light for example, will get two fines. The Public Prosecution Service has indicated clearly it wants to make an example. “The main rule is there will be few escapes available for people who can’t immediately present their ID. There is no right to an easy-going treatment, because it will in the end undermine the value of mandatory ID for law enforcement.”

If the current wave of fines continues, at the end of this year the police will have issued around 40.000 fines, thus creating a large new group of criminal offenders. A debate in the Dutch Lower House about the obligation for mentally handicapped people to carry their ID was ended by Minister Donner with characteristical logic. “It cannot be imagined that a person is in such a condition that his caretakers won’t trust him with ID, but will let that person walk on the street unaccompanied.” Twisting this logic even further, he said that the ID-obligation would diminish the risk of them getting lost. In case they would have an ID on them, the police could bring them home, if they wouldn’t have an ID they would be brought to a police station.

3300 keer geen identificatie op zak (in Dutch, 02.02.2005)

NL police massively fines citizens without ID