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Home City Guide Things to do Take a hike in Utrecht's nature at your own risk

Take a hike in Utrecht’s nature at your own risk

Last updated 6 months ago by Michael Darmanin

Take a hike in Utrecht’s countryside and you may come across a BOA; a kind of inspector roaming Utrecht’s natural habitats in search of people who do “wrong things”.

BOAs (buitengewoon opsporingsambtenaren) are like a low-level team of police employed by the RUD (Regional Uitvoeringsdienst), or literally translated in English to “Regional Implementation Service”. These investigators have a number of rights; such as apprehend people, deal out fines and write up official police reports for further prosecution.

So when you decide to take your next hike, make sure you don’t break the law; BOAs can become unfriendly if they notice acts of violation in nature. To avoid such annoying situations, make sure you have your dog on a lead at all times. When mountain biking or horseback riding, make sure you stay on the designated trail. If you think you can just go ahead and indulge in a morning of hunting and poaching, think again. Random waste dumping will also rack up a BOA’s nerves and this is when their true detective talents will begin to surface.

The BOAs work together with a number of national land management organizations and private estate owners in an effort to disseminate information effectively between one another. They regularly conduct surveillance with all parties involved in an area, including the police..

Michael Darmanin
Michael Darmanin
Michael is founder and managing editor of Utrecht Central. He graduated in Communications and Media at the Hogeschool Utrecht in the summer of 2012. He specializes in Web Development, Content Management and Online Marketing. Interested in co-operation? We are open to all kinds of suggestions. Contact us!


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