New Year festivities ‘largely peaceful’

Over 100 cars were set on fire and police and emergency service workers were attacked in a number of places, but the New Year celebrations in the Netherlands passed off without serious incident, the Telegraaf reports.

In The Hague, news agency ANP reports that some 48 cars were burned out. But mayor Jozias van Aartsen told the paper he believed the celebrations were more muted than last year. Nor were riot police brought in to restore order, the mayor pointed out.
In Zuidland, near Rotterdam, a group of 150 youths attacked police with bottles, stones and fireworks. But the festival on the Meuse river, attended by some 20,000 people, was peaceful, the Telegraaf said. In total, 30 people were arrested in the Rotterdam region.
There were 60 arrests in Amsterdam, mainly for minor offences, but police pointed out this is just double the normal number of arrests on a Saturday night. The Dam square concert went off without any trouble, and some 1,000 people turned up to watch the traditional Floradorp Christmas trees blaze in Amsterdam Noord.
In Utrecht some 50 cars were set on fire and a sports hall in Vianen burned down. There were 87 arrests but no major disturbances, a spokesman for the emergency services told news agency ANP.
There was more serious trouble in the village of Veen in Brabant, traditionally a New Year’s eve hotspot, the Telegraaf said. A number of arrests were made in the village of 2,400 people after a group of up to 100 youths tried to set cars on fire.
Police and justice ministry officials had vowed to get tough on New Year troublemakers this year, with fast-track court hearings and more camera surveillance. Insurance companies also plan to recoup damages cames from people convicted of vandalism.

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