Shop owners at shopping centre WoensXL were satisfied with the action of Stadstoezicht, last week. On Friday evening, more than twenty BOAs were present in the Woensel shopping area.
A BOA (capitals) does not refer to a large snake in the Netherlands. It is an abbreviation of Dutch “Buitengewoon Opsporingsambtenaar“.
A BOA is a sworn official, authorised to investigate offences. BOAs are officers and municipal enforcers. These include parking inspectors, foresters, environmental officers, conductors, social investigators and plenty others.
Supervision at WoensXL
At WoensXL, BOAs prevented illegal cycling. More important: their presence was also intended to prevent crimes like pick-pocketing and robbery. Local shopkeepers were glad, for it increased their feelings of safety.
In recent weeks, a number of robberies took place at this shopping centre. This is why police and BOAs started operation “Donkere Dagen” (Dark Days).
“Burglars and robbers strike more often around the holidays. I don’t want to think about it: a robbery in my shop!” stated one shop-owner.
Eindhoven shopping night
On Friday, shops at Eindhoven as well as at WoensXL, remain open longer. Practically all Dutch towns and cities have such a late-shopping-evening. Most shops remain open till nine on such a Thursday or Friday evening.
“However, in most shops only one employee is left in charge. If you know that BOAs are around the corner, you feel a little safer,” mentioned another shopkeeper.
Cycling is dangerous
In one of the shopping streets a cyclist is stopped and handed a ticket by team leader Jos van Kuijen. “Cycling where it is not allowed, costs cyclists € 55! A lot of money, but this is necessary. When it’s busy, cycling through crowds puts pedestrians at risk,” explains van Kuijen
The relationship between Jos and his team with shop-owners is excellent. This is evident, when he visits the shopping centre. Plenty shop owners stop him, to have a chat.
More supervision throughout Eindhoven
A word of warning: Stadstoezicht will not just carry out checks and be present at WoensXL. Shoppers visiting Eindhoven city centre will also see a lot more “blue” along streets.
So ensure lights on your bike work, do not cycle where it is prohibited, make sure you pay for your parking spot. In short: be on your best behaviour – all the time!
Source: Studio 040