Police union welcomes ‘trouble free’ football this weekend

police carPolice union ACP said on Monday it would welcome further discussion with the country’s mayors about policing levels at football matches, after three trouble-free games without police this weekend.

Police are currently taking industrial action in support of their pay claim and went on strike this weekend to disrupt the opening days of the new football season.

While five matches were cancelled because of the security issues, three went ahead, including Amsterdam’s Ajax against AZ of Alkmaar. Both clubs brought in extra stewards and there was no trouble, leading one reporter to describe the atmosphere as ‘almost jolly’.

Union chairman Gerrit van de Kamp told Radio 1 news that it would be a nice side-effect of the strike if it turned out fewer police were necessary at big games. ‘But this was one match and one swallow does not make a summer,’ he said.

Alkmaar’s mayor Piet Bruinooge said after the game he wanted to talk to other mayors about the options. ‘If you organise a party, you sort out your own security and that should be the same at other events,’ he is quoted as saying.

Police went on strike at eight of the nine Eredivisie matches but the Feyenoord-Utrecht game was unaffected.

Smoke bombs

There was, however, trouble in Nijmegen, where NEC football supporters set off smoke bombs in protest at the postponement of the NEC-Excelsior tie.

Police were able to break up the demonstration and two people were arrested. The fans had called for the protest using the slogan ‘No football for us, no strike for them’.

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