Almost 10,000 people were involved in threatening or attacking emergency service and other public sector workers last year, according to new figures from the Dutch public prosecution service, quoted by broadcaster NOS.
The total, 9,900 is up some 500 on 2021, the department said. Most of the threats were in the form of verbal aggression but one in three involved physical violence.
‘The number of cases is fairly constant although cases which are the subject of formal complaints are more serious,’ Rotterdam public prosecutor Lisan Wösten told NOS.
The public prosecution department has the option of asking for higher sentences against people who attack public service workers. The police and local council wardens are on the receiving end of most of the threats.
While some of those using threatening behaviour have psychiatric problems, others are ‘notorious troublemakers’, she said. ‘There is also a group who resort to violence in a personal crisis situation, such as someone who wants ambulance workers to hurry up. They usually only make the mistake once.’
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