Saturday 18 September 2021

Police to step up coronavirus rule enforcement, soft drug use outside can lead to fines

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Police and street wardens are to step up the enforcement of coronavirus rules, which will lead to more fines, the leaders of the 25 public safety regions in the Netherlands have agreed.

In particular, officials will make a formal note of the warnings they hand out, so that people can be fined if caught a second time. ‘We want more uniformity in the way police and wardens work,’ justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said after the meeting on Monday night.

‘We need clarity and certainty in this partial lockdown,’ Grapperhaus told reporters.

Last weekend police and wardens handed out 435 fines and issued 756 warnings to people who were not sticking to the tougher rules. These include a ban on groups of more than four outdoors, and a ban on having alcohol in public places after 8pm.

Meanwhile Grapperhaus has also clarified the situation surrounding marijuana, which was first put on the 8pm banned list and then removed.

Current rules turning a blind eye to the sale of cannabis do not apply to ignoring possession or use, Grapperhaus said, after MPs questioned the rationale behind banning alcohol in public places but not soft drugs.

Dutch soft drugs policy only applies to the sale of drugs, so someone who smokes weed on the street after 8pm, or is caught with it in their possession, can still be fined, the minister said.

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