Thursday 29 September 2022

Party in the park? Amsterdam takes steps to reduce crowds seeing sunshine

The Vondelpark before the police moved in. Photo:

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema is taking steps to prevent a repeat of Wednesday’s impromptu party in the city’s Vondelpark, after the police had to be drafted in to enforce public safety.

Side entrances to the park are to be closed to make the park more difficult to access and there will be extra supervision of numbers to make sure there is no repeat of Wednesday and Sunday’s events.

If that fails to keep the crowds down, the park will be closed, Halsema said, following consultation with the police and public prosecution department.

Two people were arrested on Wednesday when the police moved in to clear the park at dusk. Thousands of youngsters had gathered in the park to make the most of the spring sunshine, bringing food, drink and music with them.

By 7.30pm most had gone, leaving a sea of rubbish behind them.

‘Closure is the last resort if the behaviour of visitors merits it,’ Halsema said. ‘The measure remains in force indefinitely.’

There were similar problems in Tilburg, where police were drafted in to close the Spoorpark after hundreds of youngsters gathered. Officials are now deciding if further action is needed.

In Utrecht too, the Lepeleburg park was also filled to capacity with people out in the sun.

Earlier on Wednesday, Halsema had called on the government to allow cafe terraces to reopen as a measure to help regulate public space.

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