Monday 24 February 2020

More arrests in The Hague as beach bonfire troubles continue

Building the Duindorp fire in 2018. Photo: Maurits Verbiest via Flickr

Police in The Hague made a further four arrests on Wednesday night, as the fallout from the New Year beach bonfire ban continues.

The four were arrested for throwing fireworks, arson and insulting a police officer, and bring the arrest total to 38 since the troubles began. Two thirds of the people arrested are under the age of 18.

In the suburb of Duindorp, where most of the arrests took place at the weekend and on Monday, there was again a heavy police presence and no reports of trouble.

The rioting follows the city council’s decision to impose stricter safety rules on the New Year beach bonfire competition between The Hague’s suburbs of  Duindorp and Scheveningen.

Last year, both bonfires, constructed of thousands of wooden pallets, were much bigger than formally sanctioned and the Scheveningen fire sent gales of cinders over the streets, causing millions of euros worth of damage.

Last Friday Duindorp’ bonfire team say they would not build a fire this year because the new rules are too strict, leading to a weekend of rioting and arson. And on Tuesday, acting mayor Johan Remkes said Scheveningen’s licence application was incomplete and inadequate.

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