In 2015, the municipality of Amsterdam launched the “Top400,” a crime prevention program through which the municipality and chain partners structurally intervene in the lives of children and young adults. The Top400 follows on from 2011’s Top600, which focuses on young people previously convicted of a crime.

The Top400 is a list of “high potential” children and youth who have not been convicted of high-impact crimes (unlike the Top600). The children and adolescents are monitored by, among others, the City of Amsterdam, the police, GGD and youth protection. A director is assigned to them who, among other things, discusses their progress within a core team of chain partners. According to the municipality, the goal of the Top400 approach is to prevent these young people from coming into contact with the police around high-impact crimes.

For placement on the Top400 list, criteria have been developed that the children and youths must meet. The so-called “ProKid+” algorithm was also used to supplement the list and place 125 children and youth on the list. The Top400 approach also ‘includes’ younger siblings, even if they do not meet the criteria.

It is therefore emphatically not a criterion for selection for the Top400 that children and adolescents have committed a criminal offense. Selection criteria include: having changed elementary school three times; and being or having been under supervision and being suspected of a crime or being arrested as a suspect once;. In the case of the ProKid+ group, selection criteria for inclusion on the Top400 list also included “victim or witness of a crime” and “police contacts of fellow residents of the young person at the last known residential address.

Potential human rights violations in the Top400

The Top400 approach is presented by its implementers as a form of care that would involve keeping the children and youth in question on the straight and narrow. However, the approach seems to be primarily and sometimes solely focused on surveillance, repression and security.

It is also striking that the voices, experiences and needs of the minors and their families seem to be completely absent. Consequently, there seem to be serious problems of human rights, discrimination, access to justice and privacy in the structure of the Top400.

On behalf of the coalition, PILP sent a letter of interruption to the City of Amsterdam and the partners in the Top400 on September 21, 2022. This is to secure possible proceedings on the Top400 related to prescription in the future. No proceedings have yet been initiated.


The work of PILP and its partners in this case has contributed to the documentary Mothers and the theater piece (this conversation is) Off the Record, both by Nirit Peled.

Several interesting articles about the Top400 appeared in Trouw, Parool and the Groene Amsterdammer.

Get in touch

PILP is currently in conversation with those who have been touched by the Top400 to see what this community needs and to explore options for possible strategic proceedings. PILP urges anyone who is or thinks they are on the Top400 list to get in touch with us. Parents/caregivers/youth can contact us at:


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