"Safety on the Street" (abbreviated VOS, from the Dutch Veiligheid op Straat)

The VOS project began in 1992 to fight public disturbance during the busiest times for hotels, restaurants and cafés in the Zwolle town centre. Appointing VOS officers had an immediate effect. Troublemakers were made to realise that the police meant business, and owners and doorkeepers of hotels, restaurants and cafés also became actively involved in combating the disturbances.

Now, however, a new period has begun. There are new hospitality and catering businesses, and municipal policy has changed. People have also become more independent-minded, and there is the need to include the issue of street violence in VOS projects. This all calls for a new approach. Given that it will be linked to VOS, the name VOS2 was chosen for the new approach. In order to execute the VOS2 projects where it is needed most urgently, an analysis was made of the problems. The police are carrying out a nightlife violence analysis in connection with complaints about incidents coming from food establishments.

Two VOS officers, i.e. police officers, are completely available during the busiest times in nightlife areas. They also became the permanent contact persons for hospitality/catering establishments and doorkeepers. Whenever a quarrel or brawl started, a mobile phone call was made immediately to the VOS officer, who was then quickly on the scene. Cooperation is a significant element of VOS. Various pubs and bars already had doorkeepers. After the covenant had been signed, a doorkeeper was mandatory if the establishment wished to make use of the latest possible closing time. The doorkeepers were encouraged to get to know each other, for example through aggression management courses which were subdivided by the municipality, and to help each other whenever necessary.

 

The project started in 1992.
Last review: December 2006.