Blogger Leonardo admits he has a hard time trusting law-enforcement agents.
After having a remarkable day boating through Giethoorn’s canals, I arrived at Ede-Wageningen station only to find the 3/8-inch, blue steel cable sliced and hanging from the rail. The bike it was supposed to guard was nowhere to be seen.
‘You’re a true Dutch now’, a friend would later say. Ha. Ha. Not funny. I loved that bike.
During the following days, I told everyone who asked that I reported the theft at Wageningen’s politiebureau; but the truth is: I reported nothing. And it wasn’t because I’m lazy or because I couldn’t find the time. It’s just that I don’t trust the police to find my bike. Now that I’m being honest: I don’t trust the police; whether it is to find a bike, guard my overall safety, or whatever other service they are supposed to perform.
Around 70% of the Dutch confirm their trust in police officers, which is about the same percentage of Mexicans stating they absolutely do not trust the police.
Of course they make me nervous. I´m from a place where officers will only stop a car when looking for a mordida, a bite, which are bribes handed to avoid getting a ticket. A lot of them will even take you to the ATM if you are out of cash. In my country, the police has been linked to kidnappings, torture and homicides. They’re also known for working with the drug cartels.
In comparison, The Netherlands might seem like a safe country. That is if you’re human, but if you’re a bike, it’s a whole different story. Everyday, an average of 311 bikes are stolen in the country, of which – I just found out – about 7% are recovered. I admit: 7% doesn’t seem so bad.
During my latest experience with the Dutch police, they crashed a Beringhem party due to noise complaints. They weren’t the perfect cop role-model, though. They mostly seemed to be interested in flirting with the girls, who, from what I’ve seen and heard, do not hesitate to flirt back. Even so, at least they weren’t carrying AR-15s or using pepper spray, as I’m used to.
In spite of an indiscrete unprofessional conduct, if my new bike ever disappears, I won’t lie when saying I reported it as stolen.