Man arrested for having insulting, tattooed abbreviation


– “Officer, officer! You have to arrest my neighbour, Mr De Vries.”
– “What has he done wrong this time, Mrs Jansen?”
– “He’s whistling dirty songs!”

The following news made me think of this old Max Tailleur (Dutch) joke:

A man in Groningen was arrested last week for wearing an insulting tattoo, according to Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch). Written on the man’s neck were the letters ACAB, and the police assumed this abbreviation stood for All Cops Are Bastards. Some mothers do ‘ave ’em, eh? The man first stated that he had his neck tattooed after spending some time in jail, and later added that the abbreviation meant “acht cola, acht bier” (eight colas, eight beers).

Insulting a civil servant, including police officers, is a crime in the Netherlands (article 267 of the criminal code).

Photo: montage.

Update: another man got convicted in February for wearing a jacket with the text A.C.A.B. The court had a rather curious opinion (Dutch), in which it held that the number of Google hits that linked to page in which ACAB was used as All Cops Are Bastards was evidence of the popularity of the term.


  1. “Insulting a civil servant, including police officers, is a crime in the Netherlands”

    Yes and it’s a ridiculous law. Who determines what is an insult and what isn’t? This law is being used too often by powertripping cops to silence valid criticism and deny citizens their basic human rights.

    Comment by Barry — March 30, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  2. Did not know that, but is this law taken ‘more’ or ‘less’ seriously than police officers in general here (i.e., not very, according to almost everything I’ve seen and heard)?

    Comment by Richter — March 31, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  3. If you can’t insult Islam you shouldn’t be allowed to insult public servants. Afterall they both exist for the same reason. Honestly the Du(mb)tch are beyond help.

    Comment by Arty — April 7, 2009 @ 2:30 am

  4. […] Man arrested for having insulting, tattooed abbreviation […]

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  5. […] in 2009 we told you about a man arrested for having an insulting, tattooed abbreviation, which was ACAB that stands for All Cops Are Bastards. Another man was convicted in the same year […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » ACAB is not an insult, Dutch court rules — May 13, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  6. […] arrested for Tattoo with insulting “abbreviation” that under Dutch law constitutes an insult to civil servants. Meanwhile, Geert Wilders is […]

    Pingback by You’d think the Dutch would have more serious concerns… | BlazingCatFur — September 25, 2014 @ 5:00 am

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