MPs have demanded tougher action against people who use violence against emergency service staff following widespread problems during the New Year celebrations.
The coalition Christian Democrat and Labour parties have reacted positively to the call from opposition liberal VVD party.
The VVD wants people who attack police officers, ambulance personnel or firemen to be tried as quickly as possible and be kept in custody until they have to appear in court.
Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst said on Wednesday that the attacks on emergency service staff were ‘scandalous’, reports ANP news service. ‘These are the very people who are trying to look after our safety,’ she said.
Ter Horst said prosecutors would ask for penalties which are twice as high as normal against those suspected of using violence against emergency service staff.
‘This must make it clear that we are not prepared to accept this sort of violence and are doing everything to tackle it,’ the minister is reported as saying.
Hundreds of people, mainly young, were arrested during the festivities for causing damage to property and violent behaviour.
Insurers on Thursday said the cost of the damage is at least €11m, around €3m more than last year, reports ANP.
The public transport authority in Rotterdam RET said it will try to recoup the cost of the damage caused on New Year’s Eve from the vandals themselves. A RET spokesman said the cost could be as high as €1m.
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