Public Order and Undermining Helpdesk: +31 70 515 3476

Public order and undermining are themes that the government has to deal with on a daily basis. How can an announced demonstration be kept under control or, in extreme cases, be prohibited? What measures can you implement for high-risk events? What instruments can you use to take action against an immediate or imminent disturbance of public order?

Direct threat to public order

Sometimes these topics also go hand in hand. Undermining no longer concerns only the traditional intermingling of the underworld and the legitimate world in the branches that are susceptible to this such as cannabis coffeeshops and sex establishments. It may also concern the use of homes or warehouses for criminal activities, or shops and hospitality and catering establishments that play a role in the laundering of criminal money or in the drugs trade. Another example is home prostitution, which is used as a front to hide human trafficking from the police and the municipality. It is no longer a matter for the police and the judicial authorities alone. The undermining effect of crime can present a direct threat to public order and quality of life and requires assertive action from the government. An integrated approach is necessary in order to prevent the problem from emerging elsewhere.


Pels Rijcken’s attorneys regularly advise and litigate with regard to deploying the broad range of instruments available to local and regional authorities. Our knowledge and experience enable us to work with you to deliver customised solutions. Examples include application of the Dutch Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act or boarding up houses and office buildings under the Municipalities Act, the Opium Act, or the General Municipal Bylaw. Sometimes an area-based approach is required. Urgent situations might require imposing an area designation or deploying a special or emergency power of the mayor.

We would be happy to exchange ideas with you about practicable measures for the short term as well as the long term. Are your bylaws still up to date? Perhaps licensing systems or subsidy schemes could be better geared to (new) vulnerable branches or areas. And is your enforcement policy still in line with the latest insights? Pels Rijcken brings the law into your practice.

We can also help you with questions about:

  • Integrity within public administration
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Area designations and area bans
  • The Temporary Domestic Exclusion Order Act
  • Data exchange.

Public Order and Undermining Helpdesk: +31 70 5153 476

Would you like to exchange ideas or brainstorm about tackling undermining activities in your region? Or about a disturbance of public order, imminent or otherwise? Pels Rijcken's Public Order and Undermining Helpdesk is specifically for public authorities. You can contact the Helpdesk with questions about the protection of public order and public safety in your region.

Our team of specialised attorneys will be happy to help you. We will exchange ideas with you about specific questions without any obligation. We aim to provide concise and practical advice during a telephone conversation that is of immediate use to you. There is no fee for the advice provided via the Helpdesk.

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Public Order and Undermining