‘The devil! I must have money for this’: The Dark Side of Prosecution Policy
The Amsterdam police was a centralised and professional organisation, but had a bad name regarding the integrity of its policing of prostitution. This chapter probes and questions this reputation, first by exploring the day-to-day workings and problems encountered by the police. Police income was derived partly from their share of fines, among them the sums collected from adulterers and Jews having sex with Christian women who were allowed to compound, that is to settle their offence out of court. This led to a search for such men in brothels, which easily shaded into entrapment with bawds and prostitutes as accomplices, and even extortion. In 1739 two deputy bailiffs were arrested for extreme abuse of the system, and the large documentation on this scandal enables a detailed insight into the dealings of the police, and gives also an in-depth portrait of the world of prostitution.
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