Lodewijk Asscher, Amsterdam’s mayor, has ordered the new decoy strategy to cut the number of verbal and physical attacks on Jews, amid fears that anti-Semitic “hate crime” is on the rise.
“Jews in at least six Amsterdam neighbourhoods often cannot cross the street wearing a skullcap without being insulted, spat at or even attacked,” according to local reports.
Amsterdam police already disguise officers as “decoy prostitutes, decoy gays and decoy grannies” in operations to deter street muggings and attacks on homosexuals or the city’s red light district.
Police in the Dutch city of Gouda have claimed the use of officers disguised as apparently frail old age pensioners has helped cut street crime.
“If we receive several reports of street robbery in a certain location, we send out the granny. That soon quietens things down,” said a spokesman.
Secret television recordings by the Jewish broadcasting company, Joodse Omroep, broadcast at the weekend, have shocked Amsterdam, a city which prides itself on liberalism and which is home to the Anne Frank museum.
The footage showed young men, often of immigrant origin, shouting and making Nazi salutes at a rabbi when he visited different areas of the Dutch capital.