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.
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.