Almost twice as many police officers will be on duty during the New Year festivities than in a normal year and some have had leave cancelled to ensure there is enough manpower on the streets, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.
Although the number of police on duty will vary from place to place, in Amsterdam the number of officers will be doubled compared to last year, Amsterdam police chief Frank Paauw told local broadcaster At5.
It will be a difficult night, Paauw said, because there are no alternatives for parties. ‘The atmosphere may turn explosive because people feel they have been done out of their New Year’s celebrations.’
Unlike Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, however, have no plans to increase the number of police officers on duty, RTL Nieuws reported.
In particular, the firework ban, upheld by judges earlier on Friday, may drive trouble, police officers say.
The police asked the cabinet to include so-called children’s fireworks, such as sparklers, in this year’s ban in order to make policing easier, spokesman Ruud Verkuijlen has told Nu.nl in an interview.
The situation on the streets would be a calmer one, Verkuijlen said, because it would be clear that all fireworks are illegal.
Justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus had briefed MPs earlier that the use of F1 fireworks, which is the lightest category, ‘cannot be limited in EU member states because the safety risks are low’.
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