Introduction: Crime and the Police in Amsterdam

  • Maurice Punch


This book reports an observational study of the occupational culture and identity of uniformed policemen in a cosmopolitan city-centre. It sets out to build upon the existing Anglo-American literature on police work and to amplify it by adding a cross-cultural component, by emphasising the increasingly cosmopolitan element in the criminal world of metropolitan life, and by accentuating some novel elements in the occupational world of the contemporary policeman. In particular, this case study of police work in one inner-city station in a world city will focus on the complex factors which generate a vicious circle that dilutes the police culture, that creates an almost normless quality about police work and the decline of the police craft, and that leads to increasingly ineffective law-enforcement and ‘repressive’ norms of policing. A major purpose of this book, then, is to illuminate the reality of police work by going behind the often negative stereotype to observe and to listen to a group of policemen whose values and behaviour are intimately shaped by the unique area they police, namely the red-light district of Amsterdam.


Criminal Justice System Police Work World City Dutch Society Police Union 
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Copyright information

© Maurice Punch 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurice Punch
    • 1
  1. 1.The Netherlands School of BusinessNijenrode, AmstelveenNetherlands

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