If the Dutch police officers have their way, people caught throwing fireworks at police officers and other first responders will henceforth be charged with attempted murder. The police also want a ban on exploding fireworks and rockets, National Police chief Erik Akerboom said on Monday, NU.nl reports.
Four underage boys were arrested in Groningen on Sunday just before two demonstrations in the city - one by anti-Islam movement Pegida and a counter protest by Groningen Tolerant. According to the police, they boys were arrested for being in the possession of fireworks and brass knuckles and not being able to identify themselves, GIC reports.
A few hours after the protests, the police said that the arrested boys seemed to have no connection to the Pegida demonstration.
The mayors of the four large Dutch cities asked the Dutch Safety Board to investigate safety during New Year's, paying particular attention to the use of fireworks, AD reports. "The precise investigation and approach have yet to be determined", a spokesperson for the Safety Board said to the newspaper. "This will become clear within weeks."
The police will not launch a new investigation into the death of Johan de Lange from Meppel. The 54-year-old man died in hospital three days after a firework exploded in his face over New Year's. According to the police, interviews with witnesses showed that De Lange lit the firework himself and was careless, AD reports.
De Lange sustained a head injury when a firework he lit himself exploded near his face. It seems that he lit the firework, stepped back and then went closer again when the firework did not go off. It exploded in his face. He died in hospital 3.5 days later.
A car parked at the Kronenburg shopping center in Arnhem went up in flames during the early hours of Friday morning. The police believe arson was involved and launched an investigation. This is the sixth car fire in Arnhem this week, the Gelderlander reports.
The fire was discovered around 3:00 a.m. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, but not much is left of the car.
A total of 473 people were treated for firework injuries in the nearly 90 emergency departments in Dutch hospitals over New Year's, according to research done by NOS and VeiligheidNL. That is slightly less than the 480 people treated for fireworks injuries last year.
The decrease in fireworks injuries was much smaller this year than in the previous two years. In both 2015 and 2016 there was a 14 percent decrease, according to the broadcaster.
Barneveld police officer Roy Poortman was, along with colleagues and firefighters, twice pelted with fireworks over New Year's. In an open letter to the perpetrators behind the fireworks bombs, he calls them cowards and thanks them for the damage to his hearing and a fun evening overall.
The sister-in-law of Hague police officer Mario, who is still in critical condition after being hit by a car during New Year's, criticized mayor Jozias van Aartsen for calling it a "reasonable" celebration. "How can you speak of a reasonable New Year's while someone is fighting for his life?" she wrote on Facebook, according to Den Haag FM.
Fireworks did some 13 million euros in damage to individuals homes and cars' in the Netherlands over New Year's, according to an initial estimate by the Dutch Association of Insurers. The amount is slightly less than the 14 million euros in fireworks damages last New Year's, NU.nl reports.
Dutch authorities are increasingly concerned about dangerous fireworks used to usher in the New Year.
"Experience show that more and more often extremely dangerous fireworks are lit", Hague Mayor Jozias van Aartsen said in a press statement, according to the Volkskrant.
He calls on all involved to not wait until autumn to start the fireworks discussion in politics and society. "The damage and injuries caused by these dangerous fireworks are no longer proportional to the entertainment they provide", the Hague mayor said.
The Dutch police took tweets in which a police chief criticized Security and Justice Minister Ard van der Steur offline on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Hague police said to AD. In the tweet the police chief reacted with annoyance to Van der Steur calling violence against emergency services personnel "unacceptable".
The Netherlands' entered 2017 without any major problems. There were a number minor clashes between police and party goers, but not massive incidents. Emergency services throughout the country had to deal with young people pelting fireworks at them during the course of their duties.
A police officer in The Hague was seriously injured after being hit by a car. But according to the police, this was an accident - there is no sign of intent, according to the Volkskrant.
The vast majority of people in the Netherlands have no idea what to do to give first aid if someone's eye is hurt by a firework, according to the Red Cross. The aid organization launched a website with the most important thing to do with different firework injuries until professional help can be reached.
According to the Red Cross, 77 percent of the population do not know how to give first aid for eye injuries caused by fireworks. And only 13 percent gave the correct answer on a detailed follow up question on the subject.
Pyrotechnics Netherlands, the sector association for fireworks in the Netherlands, expects that this year will again see a decline in the number of loud bangers sold, and an increase in the number of fancy, pretty fireworks, spokesperson Leo Groeneveld said to the Telegraaf. According to him, consumers are increasingly focused on quality, decorative fireworks.
Millions of birds take flight in the Netherlands at midnight on New Year's, according to BirdLife Netherlands. They are startled by the Dutch tradition of New Year's fireworks, the organization sad on the website Nature Today on Tuesday.
Fireworks hotline vuurwerkoverlast.nl received over 7 thousand fireworks complaints since it opened on Saturday. This is the 5th year the hotline is active over the Christmas and New Year's holiday season.
Most of the complaints involved problems caused by firework bombs, the hotline said on Monday, according to the Telegraaf. Complaints about "irritating supermarket fireworks" came in second place.
Two homes in Almere were damaged by explosions on Saturday night. The police believe that vandals with fireworks are behind the damage, AD reports.
Both explosions happened early in the night on Lieven de Keystraat. The police believe that someone stuck a firework on the front window of one of the homes. The window was completely destroyed. Fireworks were also thrown throuhg the letter box.
A window was also damaged at the second home. No one was injured. The police are investigating.
The quality of Dutch consumer fireworks seems to be slipping. A quarter of the fireworks tested in 2016 did not meet the safety requirements, according to the Environment and Transport Inspectorate. That is slightly more than in previous years, the Volkskrant reports.
Online store Bol.com has to stop selling fireworks, because it is illegal to send fireworks by post. The online store removed all fireworks from its website after a reminder from the Environment and Transport Inspectorate, AD reports.
According to the newspaper, about 225 different types of fireworks were for sale on Bol.com, ranging from sparklers to fireworks packages. But the Inspectorate does not differentiate between types of fireworks - no fireworks may be sent by post, a spokesperson said to AD.
The municipality of Hilversum is allowed to ban the lighting of fireworks in part of the city center over New Year's, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday. This ruling by the highest court in the Netherlands means that no further appeals are possible, NU.nl reports.
So far the Dutch police seized 14 thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks, according to the Public Prosecutor's weekly fireworks barometer which started up in the second week of October. By this time last year, the police already seized over 32 thousand kilograms of illegal fireworks, ANP reports.
The Public Prosecutor thinks the decrease can be explained by the trade in illegal fireworks starting up later this year than usual. A number of previously illegal fireworks were also classified legal this year.
The police discovered 419 kilograms of fireworks in a car during a traffic check in Ochten during the early hours of Wednesday morning. The 48-year-old driver was arrested.
A 25-year-old man from the Gelderland town of Aalst was arrested on Tuesday for running a website trading illegal fireworks. The police found illegal fireworks and two firearms in his home, the police said in a statement.
A 24-year-old motorist from Leeuwarden and his pregnant girlfriend were badly shaken up when firework was thrown through their car's windshield on the A32 highway during the early morning hours of Sunday. Both were uninjured. The perpetrator is still on the loose, the police said