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Police mobilization is a first step in the judicial process and an important source of information on offending. Whether victims mobilize police is affected by their assessment of its utility. Victims who are criminals, such as drug dealers, are known to face a different cost-benefit scenario than law-abiding persons. Dutch ‘coffeeshops’ are a unique type of dealer. They operate in a grey area, allowed by the government to sell a prohibited drug, cannabis, so long as they comply with a set of regulations. Little is known about their mobilization of police in response to victimization, including how it is affected by the rules governing their business. We explore this issue with qualitative data collected from personnel of 50 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We analyze how they think about the potential benefits and costs of asking the police for help post victimization. In many ways, their thought process is similar to that of most any victim, but they also consider the potential negative ramifications of inviting police to their door. We conclude by discussing the implications for future research, regulation and drug control broadly, and coffeeshops specifically.
Moeller, Kim, and Scott Jacques. In press. Amsterdam's Coffeeshops, Victimization, and Police Mobilization. Policing & Society.