Thursday 29 October 2020

Arnhem court reduces and tears up coronavirus fines ahead of regulation change

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Judges in Arnhem have processed 21 appeals against coronavirus fines, lowering most of them to €95 and dismissing some charges altogether, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday.

The court said that in reducing the fines that it was taking majority support in parliament for a change in the rules into account. A majority of MPs back cutting the fine for breaking social distancing regulations from €390 to €95. The lower fine removes the risk that people who do break the rules will end up with a criminal record.

Among the cases for which the fine was reduced were that of four youngsters caught in the same car and six people having a barbecue in a park.

Several cases were also dismissed. They include a fine for three people who were playing baseball together which, the court said, did not count as a meeting. In another case, the court dismissed fines given to a group of friends who met by chance in the street. ‘This was not a meeting which had been agreed in advance,’ the court said.

More than 17,000 fines have been issued by the public prosecution service for breaching coronavirus rules in the Netherlands, according to figures released at the end of last month.

Objections have been lodged against 6,872 them, or – nearly 40% of the total.

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