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Arrests, injuries, and car fires during New Year festivities (update)

Sunday 01 January 2012

Hundreds of people were arrested during the New Year festivities in the Netherlands, but it was quieter than previous years, police chiefs said on Sunday.

In Amsterdam, 123 people were picked up, mainly for vandalism and public drunkenness. In the Rotterdam region there were at least 99 arrests and in Utrecht 47.

One person was killed in a stabbing incident in the village of Sint Oedenrode, Noord Brabant. There were several arrests news agency ANP said. And in Zoetermeer there were 14 arrests as a gang of youths threw Molotov cocktails at police.

In The Hague, riot police were called in to restore order in the Ypenburg district, but mayor Jozias van Aartsen said it was the quietest New Year celebrations in the city in four years. Nevertheless, some 80 cars were set on fire in The Hague and its surrounding towns, the Telegraaf reported.

In Utrecht, at least 17 cars were set on fire and in Amsterdam four cars and two lorries went up in flames.

In Brabant there were some 60 arrests and in Noord Holland at least 50. Last year over 1,200 people were arrested nationwide.

Eye injuries

Rotterdam's specialist eye hospital treated at least 23 people with serious firework injuries, according to the Telegraaf. Most of them were injured when setting off fireworks.

Spokesman Tjeerd de Faber said the number of injuries is absurd. 'Two years of New Year celebrations results in as many eye injuries as were suffered by US soldiers in Iraq,' he said. 'Why does the Netherlands still allow people to set off fireworks?'

The fire service was busy putting out fires caused by fireworks.

Organised events drew big crowds. In the capital, 25,000 packed on to Museumplein for a concert featuring djs and Dutch artists. Rotterdam again hosted its traditional fireworks show by the Erasmus bridge. At one point police were forced to turn people away, Nos television said.


Burglars took advantage of the outdoor festivities with at least 50 reported break-ins in Amsterdam alone.

In Rosendaal and Helmond, vandals used fireworks to try to break open cash dispensers, causing considerable damage.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

There's certainly too many kids letting off fireworks, throwing them at other people, and in the traffic too. Its absurd the amount of people getting injured because of stupidity with fireworks

By martin | 1 January 2012 1:10 PM

Last night was awful, it felt dangerous on the streets and an air of lawlessness was everywhere.. On the way home my car was targeted with fireworks many times.. and the noise continues even at 05:30am..

This felt like Amsterdams version of the London Riots!

Why doesnt the state just ban those stupid fireworks?

tens of thousands of euros going up in smoke when I child in Africa could be saved for 5 euros a month.. its obscene to me...

By SteveAmsterdam | 1 January 2012 3:25 PM

I wonder why the country doesn't do something about it - THIS HAS TO STOP !!
The situation is worse than the riots in London or Syria or Egypt !!

By xyz | 1 January 2012 6:01 PM

I couldn't agree more. It was scary and dangerous. Kids throwing and using fireworks is utterly stupid. Not very smart Amsterdam, Netherlands...Not smart at all. Stupid is as stupid does.

By Tersa | 1 January 2012 10:10 PM

Some people have more money than common sense...

By Relax | 1 January 2012 10:56 PM

I agree Steve. Amsterdam is a nightmare on New Years Eve, and I haven't gone out to celebrate for over 10 years now due to these fools with fireworks. Not to mention they scare the hell out of pets. Ban them outright. Organised events are fine, but that's where it should end.

By Willie | 2 January 2012 6:51 AM

SteveAmsterdam: tens of thousands of euros?? try 65 million euros - that's what this nice little caring social country spent this year on fireworks! Yes I agree, it is extremely selfish, superficial, short sighted and obscene.

By Bill | 2 January 2012 8:39 AM

I have to sadly concur with the previous comments.

This whole firecracker ordeal is just unbearable and turns people into asocial barbarians. The most outrageous thing I've seen this year was some kids throwing firecrackers at a raft of ducks in a canal, to the delight and laughter of their parents. Come on...

By My beautiful Jordaan | 2 January 2012 9:16 AM

This has definitively been my last new year's day in the Netherlands. Next ones I will go to a quiet forest. It has been simply umbearable. Fireworks since 10 am till 2 am, so around 16 hours of continuous explosions. Even a bonfire in the middle of the street, between tram rails.

By Jose | 2 January 2012 9:19 AM

Every year it's the same nightmare. The noise is unbearable. You become a prisoner in your own home. It's like living in a war zone. And here in Nieuwerkerk a/d Ijssel it begins weeks before New Year and there were still loud explosions way past the 02:00 cut off time. It should be organised firework displays only, then everyone can look forward to seeing in the New Year instead of dreading it!!!

By Suz | 2 January 2012 2:07 PM

@ Jose, fireworks from 10pm-2am?
Try from dec 26 for a week! Every day from Christmas to New Year I have the Brandweer racing past my window 'cos some idiot has started a fire with these things.
I don't know of any other country that allows people to set off explosives in a public place. The resulting fires & injuries seem to be regarded as part of the New Year experience.

By Donaugh | 2 January 2012 3:31 PM

Around New Years time this deceptively peaceful country turns into nothing less than a war zone. Many people instantly lose their scruple and simply go mad. Suddenly to some people kicking bikes, slaughtering ducks in the canals becomes just part of the feestje. But what the hell, it's NEW YEAR people, lets blow up a bus station, throw a couple or three molotovs, stab somebody, after all police says it's ok, none of this considered major incident(quoting a previous headline). Suddenly "celebrating" next New year in Holland with a bullet-proof vest doesn't sound like a bad idea.

By Lubo | 2 January 2012 4:30 PM

Banning fireworks will accomplish nothing. It will simply go underground. The problem is that NL has been too liberal for too long and/or taught kids that it's ok to be selfish and just do whatever you want, safety aside. Time to make these individuals pay for vandalism. Make them an example to their peers. Maybe then something will sink in, not before.

By Michael | 2 January 2012 4:37 PM

EUR 65M could certainly take a huge bite out of the funds needed to house and feed the homeless for how many months or even years? So long as the Dutch continue to be this selfish, parents don't control their monster self-indulding children and only think about themselves, nothing will change in this country.

By Michael | 2 January 2012 4:43 PM

Wow! Lots of unhappy folks on here. Personally I love NYE and find the fireworks a fun and exciting part of living here in NL, it certainly gives a bit of color and character to the long dark winter and I think you'll find most people have a big smile on their face for most of the celebrations!

I also find that the regulations put in place by the authorities work well to mainly limit their use to NYE. Nice one Holland, keep up the good work!

By Give the dutchy a big hi-5 | 2 January 2012 6:41 PM

I think part of the problem is that fireworks are only allowed during New Years celebrations. If they were allowed year-round, setting them off would lose this aura of "special event" and teenagers would be less bothered to wait a whole year to mess with them.

Counter-example: imagine what would happen with DUI or similar issues if drinking alcohol were allowed only over a weekend per month...

By Andre L. | 2 January 2012 10:17 PM

The whole New Year "celebration" is a disgrace and just another incentive for idiots to destroy others their right to enjoy themselves properly. The day after is nearly worse , watching tourists gleefully wading through piles of broken glass and soggy firework paper is nothing short of pathetic. But don't worry folks , the Gemeente will have it cleaned up in time for the next invasion of idiots to "celebrate" the Queens birthday !

By Barry | 2 January 2012 11:10 PM

Here in toronto, Ontario, you must be over 18 to buy, and if a parent buys for children, the parent get Hell from the police, if children do stupid stuff

By justin | 3 January 2012 2:36 AM

@Danaugh: Iceland and Denmark both allow curbside fireworks. Some American states tolerate them too or did. I feel sorry for all the children who are maimed for life for nothing. One is too many.

By Puck | 3 January 2012 8:10 AM

Comparing NYE here to the London riots? Typical right wing over zealous reactionary thinking. How on earth can you compare a few fireworks being set off with shops and buses and cars being burnt out? ... With people having to leap from their homes for dear life to escape the flames ....

Please people, get a grip!!!

By Smileyi | 3 January 2012 4:05 PM

Amsterdam is one of my favorite European Cities - so I was looking forward very much to spending a first New Year's Eve there. I was horrified at the lawlessness and lack of control in allowing people to let off their own fireworks openly in crowded public places. We witnessed a police van pull up and five officers jump out with battens to stop a guy urinating against a building whilst 20 yards away people were letting off rockets and throwing bangers into a crowd seemingly unnoticed.Tolerance to prostitution and soft drugs is one thing but come on NL - you cannot let this happen in this way again.

By mark savage | 4 January 2012 10:42 AM

Well this is our 23 year of being in amsterdam for new year.
YES this year we noticed many incidents of rockets being aimed directly at buildings from the vondelpark and youths letting off industrial sized fireworks in busy streets.
We had riots,looting and arson in august in my road in london and the police just looked on,so maybe amsterdam police also just look on.
All said we had a great new year and will be back for 2013.

By london kier | 6 January 2012 9:29 AM

The Dutch love their fireworks, there's no doubt about that, and banning them outright won't solve anything. The solution to these problems is simple: educational campaigns in schools and on television coupled with enforcement. The police should be out, in force, on public parks and streets on NYE. Anyone caught firing fireworks at a building, vehicles, ducks etc will receive a steep fine. Everyone's fun shouldn't be ruined because of a few obnoxious morons.

Most US states have outright banned crazier fireworks (firecrackers, rockets, etc) but people flock to neighboring states or Native American reservations to purchase them. The yahoos would no doubt flock to Belgium if they were similarly banned here.

By B | 6 January 2012 10:56 AM

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