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Calling the Cops in Europe? Don't Bother

Are there no-go zones in Europe, or aren't there? Have political control and the power of law enforcement in some urban neighborhoods been tacitly turned over to local Muslim leaders, with even the police taking a hands-off attitude? Across Europe, some politicians, journalists, and police spokespeople continue to deny that such zones exist, although the evidence for their existence becomes increasingly difficult to disavow.

Even as these establishment functionaries continue to insist that no-go zones are a myth, however, news reports are indicating that in several European countries, the policing problem has advanced beyond the mere fact of no-go zones. Earlier this month, for instance, the Dutch newspaper Het Parool reported that throughout the Netherlands, police departments are now so overburdened by “radicalization, terrorism, and the influx of asylum seekers” that they simply don't have the time to investigate a large percentage of crimes. In Rotterdam, 54% of crime reports are tossed at once, without even a cursory effort to track down a perpetrator; in The Hague, the figure is 48.5%; in Amsterdam, it's a whopping 64.8%. The overall national figure is 56%.

One night nineteen years ago, a few steps away from Muntplein, a busy square in the heart of Amsterdam, I was accosted by a young Muslim man who held a knife on me and demanded my money while a half dozen of his pals hovered threateningly nearby, at canal's edge. More angry than scared, I responded with what may be described as foolish bravado, telling my assailant to hit the road. He backed off, and headed with his friends down the canal, presumably in search of someone else to mug. For my part, I went to the nearest bar and ordered a gin and tonic. I was so stunned that it didn't even occur to me until I was halfway through my second drink that I should've gone immediately to the police. Even all those years ago, I doubted that filing a police report would've made any difference. Today, apparently, it would almost certainly be a waste of time.

The same thing's happening in Britain. On October 16, the Daily Mail reported that every police force in the country was now “abandoning inquiries into thousands of 'hard to solve' low-level offences.”

What kinds of offenses? The list includes “vandalism, theft, burglary and antisocial behaviour,” plus minor incidents of “grievous bodily harm” and “car crime.”

Of course, these are infractions that are committed, to a wildly disproportionate degree, by Muslims.

The message is clear: if you're the victim of a violation that falls into any one of these categories, you need not bother reporting it, unless you actually know who committed it or have evidence that seems likely to help police identify the perpetrator without too much time or effort. Forget those scenes in movies where cops stare at CCTV footage for hours on end in search of a suspect: under the new British policy, police won't even bother looking at crime-scene videos if the job promises to take more than twenty minutes. Cases will also be abandoned at once if there aren't any “viable lines of inquiry,” whatever that's supposed to mean. Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs' Council, defended this new opposite-of-zero-tolerance approach, explaining that “we must prioritise so we are using our resources to the best effect and protecting people who need it most.”