Newspaper: Police rarely respond to illegal fireworks calls on New Year's

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The police rarely act against people lighting fireworks outside the legally permitted lighting times between 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. on New Year's Eve, according to figures newspaper AD got from the Central Collection Agency.

Last year the police only fined 524 people for lighting fireworks outside the lighting times, while there were 1,200 complaints. In 2013 there were 647 fines on 1,600 complaints.

Police union ACP chairman Gerrit van de Kamp is not surprised that the number of fines is so "incredibly low", he said to the newspaper. "Officers don't have time to check it. In December everyone works on overtime, so there is hardly any manpower. Fireworks nuisance is also not a priority.", he said. He calls the lighting times a "symbolic measure". "We simply cannot enforce it."

Ellen de Heer, spokesperson for the Utrecht police, confirmed this sentiment. "If there is time, we respond to it. But if there is a report of a burglary or robbery, that comes first."

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