Throw fireworks and you could face attempted manslaughter charges

New Year fireworks in Amsterdam. Photo:

People who throw fireworks at the emergency services or others during the New Year celebrations could face charges of attempted manslaughter, the public prosecution department says.

‘It will depend on the specific circumstances of the case whether or not attempted manslaughter becomes the charge, spokeswoman Kathelijne den Hartogh told news agency ANP.

There is a difference between throwing a small firework from 200 metres away to chucking a heavy duty firework into someone’s face, she said. ‘But let us be clear, we will treat that very seriously as well.’

The department has already introduced fast track  courts and heavier sentences for people who throw fireworks at the police and other emergency service workers.


At the beginning of this month, the Dutch safety board called sale of firecrackers and rockets to be banned in order to cut back on injuries and damage to property.

Some 500 people end up at accidents and emergency departments with serious injuries during the New Year’s Eve firework frenzy, making it the most dangerous time of the year in many places, the board said.

Last year police seized at least 16 tonnes of illegal fireworks in the run-up to the New Year celebrations. Fireworks can only be sold via licenced traders on 28, 29 and 30 December this year.

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