A number of shops in Amsterdam will refuse to accept cash money from the end of this month in an experiment to try to reduce robberies.
The city council is buying the smart card pin machines for some shop keepers so they can take part in the experiment. It is also funding posters and leafleting to make shoppers aware of the changes.
A spokesman for the city council admitted the experiment could drive both shoppers and robbers elsewhere. ‘But doing nothing is not an option,’ he said.
Not only is it safer for shops not to handle cash, but it is also quicker and cheaper, he said.
The campaign will centre on shops around the Ferdinand Bolstraat, the centre of Osdorp and shopping centres in Nieuw West.
Last year there were 547 armed robberies on Amsterdam shops, up 11% on 2008. Last week the owner of a jewelers shop on the Jan Evertsenstraat was shot dead during a robbery.