Higher penalties for Year-End crimes

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 People who have been arrested for “turn-of-the-year’s” offenses will receive up to 200 percent higher penalties than usual.

Clockwise fltr garbage bins that fell victim to fireworks vandalism. Marjan Landstra graphic

Fines, community service and prison sentences for light offenses will be 75 percent higher, while aggression and violence directed at people in public duty will be bumped to 200 percent, according to a press release from Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.

The release said police made 800 arrests around year-end and 615 will be prosecuted for offences committed around the turn of the year, most of them for violence aimed at other people. The total represented a 12% increase over last year. There were 108 incidents of violence directed at police officers, which is also an increase over last year. In addition, the release said, there was a remarkable 41 percent increase in the number of times emergency services had to request assistance from police.

It said 247 people were held for violence. A total of 135 people were held because they were suspected of threatening someone in public duty: police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel.

 “It’s these very people that take care of everybody’s safety and health during Old Year’s and they should be able to do their work without hinder. People who get in their way will be taken in front of a Judge and may look forward to hearing a demand for prison time (from the Prosecutor’s Office.”

The release said Minister Opstelten appreciates the work the police and emergency service do. “It’s their work that secured good process during the turn of the year,” Opstelten said.

The release said 134 people will be prosecuted for vandalism and 99 for fireworks related offenses. In total there were 8,400 incidents reported, a 23 percent hike in comparison to last year. The biggest increase was in fireworks related incidents (29 percent) and in the numbers of fires and explosions (38 percent).