Prosecutor pleads for European fireworks ban

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The Dutch Public Prosecution (OM) wants a ban on heavy fireworks. In October 2011 the OM already addressed the issue in a letter to the Ministry of Security and Justice.Through the use of the Freedom of Information Act the letter in question came into possession of TV program Brandpunt Reporter. The prosecution still pleads for a  European ban.

Marcus Rangell
Wikimedia commons

'According to the European Pyro guidelines heavy fireworks may only be purchased by professional buyers, but in the Netherlands, especially individuals manage to obtain illegal fireworks. For this reason a European ban on fireworks would be good,' said a representative.

However, a majority of the House does not support a ban on private fireworks. ' The problems around new year's even are not solved by a ban, because they have to do with  violence, alcohol, and drug abuse. Moreover, the worst accidents with fireworks are caused by illegal fireworks,' said Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch.

The survey of the Ministry of Security and Justice showed there are 8,400 reported incidents around the turn of the year, most of which had to do with fireworks or arson. 800 people were arrested. More than a hundred times violence was used against the police and firemen were hindered in their work.

A survey of EénVandaag shows 64 percent of Dutch people favor a ban. Marcouch would rather see more enforcement around issues that have already been banned, such as setting off dangerous, illegal fireworks, and violence against first responders.

MP Roelof Bishop (SGP) also favors a ban. 'It causes a lot of nuisance, it is very damaging to the environment, and it 's a waste of 70 million euros.' An outright ban would put an end to the confusion about what is legal and what is illegal: 'a complete ban is very clear.'