Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 08:14
No extra police for New Year's firework vandalism
There will be almost no additional manpower deployed to ensure that the new times for fireworks are observed on New Year's Eve, NOS reports. The law is currently being adjusted, the lighting of fireworks will only be allowed on December 31st from 18:00 p.m. Previously fireworks may have been lit from the morning. Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice assumes that the lighting ban will be maintained with the deployment of additional police officers and special investigators. In the notes at the Cabinet decision he wrote that reducing the lighting times will require more capacity. According to the Minister, all authorities endorse that a greater commitment is "desirable", but sampling by NOS shows that most (three quarters) municipalities will not deploy extra manpower to enforce the law. According to NOS, municipalities say that they see the tighter lighting times primarily as a tool to tackle serious disturbances. In practice this means that someone lighting fireworks in the morning, will be fined. Officers and special investigators will mainly respond to incidents or if heavy illegal fireworks are lit. The Association of Dutch Municipalities complains that Minister Opstelten has made not made any extra money available for more police officers on duty on New Year's Eve. "If the minister had been more forthcoming in financing the regulators, then we would have been able to have more on the street." The Association also finds it incomprehensible that the minister did not do a nationwide campaign to inform people about the new lighting times.