Amsterdam tells young British men who want a ‘messy’ weekend to stay away

·2 min read

Amsterdam is urging young British men looking for a “messy weekend” to “stay away” from the city, in a stark new advertising campaign.

The Dutch capital is a firm favourite among groups of British tourists looking for a short European break - the sex shows of its red light district, and its liberal attitude to cannabis consumption often a major draw for stag and hen dos.

But antisocial tourists have long caused friction with local residents.

The city’s council has now launched a series of videos specifically aimed at such visitors, with a clear message: “Stay away”.

The short online adverts depict young British men drunk or passed out on the city’s streets, creating work for its emergency services, and ultimately ending up in either hospital or jail.

They are accompanied by messages warning of the personal repurcussions a “messy night” in Amsterdam could pose.

One video begins with a bottle smashing onto a pavement, before showing a drunk British man shouting at police officers while staggering against a wall.

He is handcuffed and taken to a police station where he is processed through custody, before a final shot shows him alone in a cell with his head in his hands.

Words read: “Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night + getting trashed = 140 Euro fine + criminal record = fewer prospects.

“So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away.”

Another video shows an apparently drunk young man collapsed on a park bench. An ambulance pulls up and paramedics blue-light him to hospital, where medics gravely work on him. The final shot shows him apparently unconscious in a hospital bed.

The message reads: “Coming to Amsterdam to take drugs + lose control = hospital trip + permanent health damage = worried family.

“So coming for drugs to Amsterdam? Stay away.”

The campaign comes after Amsterdam last month announced a string of new measures aimed at clamping down on antisocial behaviour, following years of complaints from fed-up residents.

The crackdown, set to come into effect in mid-May, includes banning the smoking of cannabis on the streets of its famous red light district, and requiring restaurants and brothels to close earlier at weekends.

A statement on the Government of Amsterdam’s website said the measures aimed to counteract the “enormous nuisance” visitors pose to locals, especially at night.

“Residents of the old town suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the streets,” it said.

“Especially at night the atmosphere can get grim.

“People who are under the influence hang around for a long time. Residents cannot sleep well and the neighbourhood becomes unsafe and unlivable.”