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In the Dutch city of Rotterdam police will soon be able to confiscate your clothes if you can’t prove that you legally paid for them.

The new measure is geared toward young men in designer or expensive-looking clothes that the police have reason to believe were stolen or bought using funds from criminal activities.

“They are often young men who consider themselves untouchable. We’re going to undress them on the street,” Rotterdam’s chief of police Frank Paauw told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “These young people have no income, sometimes even debts from a previous conviction, but also wear an outfit that exceeds 1500 euros,” Paauw continued, saying that their outfit choices also sends a “completely false signal to local residents.”

As the measure hasn’t been introduced yet, it’s not clear how police will decide if you bought your clothes legally. Nor is it clear whether the squad will be trained to spot rare Supreme, or if they’ll just be looking out for young men flexing a Rolex or a Gucci belt.

According to a spokesperson from the Rotterdam police, the program will only be brought in to Rotterdam West and is intended to only target a small group of men aged 16-30 who are already involved in crime. However, many residents have already expressed concerns about the city’s plans.

We caught up with some young people in Rotterdam to ask what they thought about the controversial new program. They cited worries about racial profiling, increased tensions with the police, and a reluctance to change how they dress. As one of our interviewees eloquently put it, “It’s not a crime if you are wearing a KILLER look.”

Serana Angelista

What do you think about this new rule?

Abuse of power comes as no surprise but it’s still definitely alarming! It’s shameful that black and brown bodies are still violently policed like this. Because you are seen as suspicious, it feels like your body is not yours. A higher authority has a say in how you dress and walk in this world.

How do you think this is going to affect the relationship between young people and the police?

Hostility [may be a possibility] because they render you as unworthy of your possessions.

Do you think the police will know enough about fashion to tell what is expensive and what isn’t? Or to spot fakes?

I think they are looking for “contrasts” and not specifically looking at clothes alone. A contrast in which they think items are too expensive for someone who looks “foreign.”

Will this news change how you dress? Will you be less likely to wear more-expensive pieces?

It will not change the way I dress because I can’t take off the skin I’m living in.

Sjors Lupker

💎Lowlands bling bling dynasty look💎. #lowlands2017 #blingbling #yungleetowers

A post shared by Sjors Lupker (@sjors_lupker) on

What do you think about this new rule?

I think the new rule is strange. It will target a certain type of boy, so it’s also racist — a white guy with blonde hair and blue eyes can also be a drug dealer.

Do you think the police will know enough about fashion to tell what is expensive and what isn’t? Or to spot fakes?

No. It is the police, not the fashion police. Most people can’t see the difference between real and faux leather, so I don’t think the police will see that at all!

According to the police, this change is to act as a deterrent and prove that “crime doesn’t pay.” Do you think it will work?

I think it will work against them. I won’t be happy at all if they, let’s say, take my vintage ’98 Helmut Lang jacket or my Gucci sunglasses that I got from my mom because she wore them 16 years ago. They don’t know if it’s vintage, that you’ve saved money for an item, or that you got it from someone. They just see the logos.

Will this news change how you dress? Will you be less likely to wear more-expensive pieces?

No. It’s not a crime if you are wearing a KILLER look.

Johan AQ

How do you think this is going to affect the relationship between young people and the police? What was it like before?

It wasn’t ever great but it has become worse through the years. It’s going to be even worse now, why don’t go they back to the regular patrol or neighborhood police?

What have your experiences with the police in Rotterdam been like? If you’ve dealt with police in other cities in The Netherlands or abroad, has it been different?

I’ve only had one strange experience with police. My friends and I were walking downtown on our way home, while suddenly the police screamed: “Look at those gangsters!” We weren’t doing anything besides walking…I guess having a beanie and a hoodie on is being a gangster?

According to the police, this change is to act as a deterrent and prove that “crime doesn’t pay.” Do you think it will work?

It could, but why don’t the police take on the big men who might be hiring all those kids? It’s easy to cut the branches but then the root still survives.

Michèle van Vliet

Why do you think this rule is being introduced?

For me, it mainly feels like an excuse to be able to randomly check on people who fit into a “suspicious” profile but aren’t doing anything particularly wrong in that moment. There’s definitely gonna be a lot of racial profiling involved and that’s not a thing we need more of.

According to the police, this change is to act as a deterrent and prove that “crime doesn’t pay.” Do you think it will work?

Nah. I don’t see how this would ever stop people from wearing certain things. If you’re clever enough to obtain expensive stuff in an illegal way, you’ll probably be clever enough to come up with excuses to cover the situation. And that raises the question as to where the police stop suspecting people. Do they have to go home and get a receipt? A written note by their mom?! I get what the idea is based on, but I feel like there is no right way to execute it.

Will this news change how you dress? Will you be less likely to wear more-expensive pieces?

Not at all. I’ve worked hard for everything I own, so there’s nothing to worry about. I probably wouldn’t fit into the profile of a suspect anyways — it’s about people showing off their stuff and I’ll definitely be doing that in a vintage 15 euro leather jacket.

Michelle Koppelmans

What do you think about this new rule?

I don’t think it focuses on the real problem. Scaling back the flow of illegal practices by harassing people on the street and assuming they don’t have the income to pay, or worse, are involved in illegal activities based on an aesthetic, seems highly unrealistic.

How do you think this is going to affect the relationship between young people and the police? What was it like before?

Racial profiling is a real problem and I fear this method is only going to make that a bigger issue, rather than improving it. I think the relationship between young people and the police depends a lot on the color of your skin, unfortunately.

According to the police, this change is to act as a deterrent and prove that “crime doesn’t pay.” Do you think it will work?

Wanting to send a signal that “crime doesn’t pay” isn’t what we should want the police to do. I’m afraid that statistics might show that it works, but those statistics need to be looked at within the context, not just as hard facts.

Finally, will this news change how you dress? Will you be less likely to wear more-expensive pieces?

It shouldn’t change the way that anybody dresses. I feel the way you dress is an expression of identity, which could itself be a completely different conversation, but shouldn’t be controlled or even influenced by the police or state. Then again, I’m white and therefore have the privilege to look at it this way.

Now, read why you should think twice before copping a Paris Saint-Germain jersey.

  • Main & Featured Image: Sander Koning / AFP / Getty Images
  • In-copy image: Kasia Prints

Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.

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