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AMSTERDAM, 08/03/08 - The police's National Diversity Expertise Centre (LECD) wants sex allowed in all public parks in the Netherlands. The police institute has advised the cities to follow the example of Amsterdam, De Telegraaf newspaper reported Friday.
In Amsterdam's Vondelpark, owners of dogs let off the leash can be fined, but sex will shortly be permitted. "Why should we try to maintain something that is actually impossible to maintain, which also causes little bother for others and for a certain group actually signifies much pleasure?" says Paul van Grieken, the responsible Alderman in the Oud-Zuid district of Amsterdam.
Van Grieken confirmed that the plan to tolerate public sex in Vondelpark is part of a draft version of new rules of conduct for the city's best-known park. The regulations are to come into force after the summer. "Of course there are strict rules attached. Thus, condoms must always be cleared away, it must never take place in the neighbourhood of children's playgrounds and the sex must be restricted to the evening and night-time."
The draft memorandum says that fines will be maintained for dogs running around off the leash that, for example, cause nuisance to sunbathing or cycling users of the park. "The research showed that many people find this disturbing," according to the alderman.
LECD is now calling on Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht to tolerate 'cruising' gays in all their parks. In a letter to the administrators of the three cities, the police institute says that by regulating sex in public, the safety of homosexuals from 'queer-bashers' can be better guaranteed.
Thus, it says in the recommendations that "officers must not disturb the activities, as long as they do not cause any actual nuisance" and they would "only have to take corrective action if there is a question of actual offensive behaviour that is visible from the public path."
Homosexuals' organisation COC is pleased that the Amsterdam Oud-Zuid district is to be the first to tolerate sex in the Vondelpark. "Cruising is something belonging to all time and banning it does not work anyway. They do it surreptitiously and mostly without others being annoyed by it. But homos at cruising spots are often attacked. By now agreeing rules of behaviour on this, safety can be increased," according to COC Amsterdam chairman Dennis Boutkan.