Man arrested following fire at British embassy in The Hague

One man has been arrested in connection with a fire at the British embassy in The Hague, police said on Tuesday morning. The man was picked up close to the embassy building, which is heavily guarded, but no further details have been released. The fire brigade was alerted at around 07.00 after a passerby spotted smoke. The fire has now been brought under control and no one was injured, news agency ANP reports. [banner] The British embassy is housed on the Lange Voorhout in the diplomatic quarter of The Hague. The cause of the fire is still unknown. One photograph shows flames at twoupper floor windows. More to follow  More >

Juvenile offender referral rate stable

Minister was warned of personal care budget chaos Almost 17,000 Dutch teenagers were referred to the juvenile crime prevention service Halt last year, showing a stable pattern of referrals compared with previous years. Three in 10 teenagers were sent to the Halt service for theft, making this the most common crime. Physical violence accounted for 19% of referrals. This is double the 2012 figure but can be explained by changes in the way juveniles are sentenced in court, the organisation said. [banner] Since 2012, judges are more likely to refer teenagers to Halt than to impose community service. Impact ‘In the Halt system, youngsters are confronted with their behaviour and its impact,’ said director Arina Kruithof in a statement. ‘They apologise, pay for the damage and carry out specific tasks and parents are actively involved.’ Persistent truanting was the third most common offence, accounting for 16% of cases. Breaking the rules on fireworks and breach of the peace accounted for one in 10 of Halt teens' crimes.  More >

Utrecht council appeals for sex workers

Utrecht city council appeals for sex workers, brothel managers Utrecht council is appealing for prostitutes, brothel managers and investors to work with officials in planning the city's new red light district. 'We want to create a new, attractive place for window prostitution where sex workers can do their job safely, independently and in freedom,' the council says on its website. This 'new approach' requires care and consideration as well as the involvement of local residents, sex workers, investors and brothel managers, the council says. [banner] Potential investors have to fill in a form asking them if they are aware of the signs of human trafficking and if they have been the subject of an integrity investigation (bibob). They are also being asked to supply a business plan and a 'personal story'. The new red light district replaces the old floating brothels which have been closed since 2013 when the five brothel owners lost their licence because of concerns they were involved in human trafficking. Efforts by prostitutes to take over the boats and run them independently failed. The new red light district is set to open for business in 2017.  More >

TomTom posts Q4 loss, stable turnover

TomTom posts Q4 loss, stable turnover Satnav maker TomTom on Tuesday announced a loss of €6.9m in the first quarter of 2015. Profit margins were affected by the high value dollar in which the company pays for most of its components. Operating profit fell from €30m to €21m, the company said. Turnover remained stable at €205m, although analysts were predicting slight growth. [banner] Turnover has been falling since 2010 as slow car sales have an impact, but the Amsterdam-based company expects an increase over 2015 as a whole from new products such as sport watches and security products for lorry parks.  More >

Talks on refugee crisis continue

Minister was warned of personal care budget chaos Discussions between the Dutch coalition parties aimed at finding a permanent solution for asylum seekers who have been refused refugee status are due to resume on Tuesday and could take the rest of the week to resolve. The announcement came on Monday evening from the social affairs ministry after talks on the subject ended at midnight. The coalition parties are divided over the provision of bed and board for rejected asylum seekers, following a Council of Europe ruling last week. The Labour party says basic accommodation should be provided as a humanitarian gesture, but the VVD Liberals fear this will attract more people to come to the Netherlands. [banner] Following Monday's talks, prime minister Mark Rutte told Dutch media: 'There is progress, but there is still much work to be done.' Labour leader Diederik Samsom said he does not want the coalition to break up over the issue. According to Dutch media, a compromise is being discussed. Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff has suggested setting up basic provision for illegal refugees as a gesture to Labour. And at the same time, increasing efforts to deport them as a gesture to the VVD.  More >