Prosecute firework throwers for attempted murder: police chief

New Year fireworks in Amsterdam. Photo:

People who throw large fireworks at emergency service workers should be charged with attempted murder, and loud bangers and rockets should be banned altogether, according to national police chief Erik Akerboom.

Akerboom was reacting to research by the TNO institute and the Police Academy on the impact of more powerful fireworks on police and the general public health and safety.

That research showed that the explosive power in some types of fireworks has gone up considerably and that some are capable of causing hearing damage from two metres away.

‘The view we have on the destructive power of some fireworks is correct,’ Akerboom said. ‘It is not easy to protect our people and animals against them, nor is it possible to protect other emergency service workers and the general public. It is five minutes to midnight. This is why we want a ban on loud bangers and rockets.’

The public prosecution department already prosecutes some people for attempted murder if they throw fireworks at officials.

Pressure is growing in the Netherlands for a ban on the sale of fireworks to ordinary citizens because of the damage caused to health and property every New Year.

Every year hundreds of people are arrested, dozens of people are seriously injured and fires cause millions of euros worth of damage during the firework frenzy.

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