Relatively quiet New Year's in Netherlands; no major incidents

People line up at a food truck in Amsterdam Oost to buy oliebollen in time for New Year's, 31 Dec 2017
People line up at a food truck in Amsterdam Oost to buy oliebollen in time for New Year's, 31 Dec 2017Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

There were no major incidents during New Year's celebrations across the Netherlands, according to initial reports from regional emergency services. So far only Rotterdam reports a sharp increase in the number of incidents.

Amsterdam saw a number of fights and brawls during the course of Sunday night and early Monday morning, but the police still called it a reasonably quiet turn of the year. The large fireworks show on Java island had a "pleasant atmosphere", a spokesperson for the event said to AT5. Around 9 thousand people attended. As far as is known, there were no major incidents. 

Police officers in Amsterdam arrested a total of 43 people, compared to 32 last year, Het Parool reports. There were five incidents of violence towards aid workers, less than last year and comparable to the years before. These cases mostly involved aid workers being pelted with fireworks or threatened. 

The Amsterdam fire department called New Year's Eve "relatively quiet and manageable". The fire brigade responded 165 times, including to 17 car fires, two truck fires, and five burning scooters. There were fewer container fires and no large fires, Het Parool reports. Ambulances responded 319 times, including to 6 fireworks related injuries. This is comparable to previous years. 

These are only the initial figures from the Amsterdam emergency services. More reports and charges may be received in the coming days. 

Elsewhere in Noord-Holland, two people were injured in a stabbing in Purmerend, RTL Nieuws reports. The police were unable to tell the broadcaster what exactly happened or how the victims are doing. The investigation is still ongoing. In Berkhout a farm went up in flames. Firefighters managed to save an adjacent cow barn. 

The Rotterdam-Rijnmond region was much busier than last New Year's, NOS reports. The fire department and ambulance services responded to 896 reports, more than double compared to last year. The local safety office called this past night a busy New Year's. The peak for the ambulance services was at 1:00 a.m., when 145 incidents were reported. 

The Rotterdam police possibly prevented a shooting incident. A man hid a loaded pistol underneath a parked car on Kerkhoflaan before entering a cafe, the police said in a statement. He was arrested before he could do anything with the weapon. The police also discovered a mortar bomb in Spijkenisse. The explosive was made safe and removed, according to the Telegraaf. 

The fire department in Veligheidsregio Utrecht reported a relatively quiet turn of the year. There were considerably fewer car fires - 20 car fires were reported between 6:00 p.m. on December 31st and 6:00 a.m. on January 1st, compared to 34 last year. Firefighters responded to 17 fires in buildings. 

Most of the car fires happened in the city of Utrecht - 17. Though that also decreased compared to the 24 car fires in the city last New Year's. The number of fire alarms also decreased, 183 compared to 333 last year. No reports of aggression towards firefighters were received.

A 19-year-old man from Utrecht was arrested for breaking a police car's window while the officers were dealing with a reported assault on Tigrisdreef, the police said in a statement. 

New Year's celebrations in The Hague turned into confrontations with the police in several neighborhoods, according to RTL Nieuws. The police and firefighters were pelted with fireworks in multiple places. Two young people were arrested on Kaapseplein for throwing fireworks at patrolling police officers shortly after midnight, according to Omroep West. On Woudenbergstraat the police were called in to clear the way for firefighters responding to fight some small fires on the street. A RTL Nieuws cameraman sustained hearing damage when he was pelted with fireworks in Schilderswijk.

There were two stabbing incidents in The Hague over New Year's. Two men were wounded in a stabbing in a home on Groenewegje, Omroep West reports. Both victims were arrested after treatment. Another man was injured in a stabbing in a home on Laakweg. Three men were arrested. The police are investigating both stabbings. 

The area around Gouda, Alphen aan den Rijn and Leiden reported a quieter New Year's than in previous years. Several people were arrested for vandalism, assault, and lighting illegal fireworks, but there were no major incidents that affected public order, Veiligheidsrego Hollands Midden said, according to Two people were arrested in Leiden for attacking a police officer. The officer fell and broke his leg. The Leiden police recorded 25 incidents, compared to 71 incidents last year.

The Hollands Midden fire department received 194 reports, mostly concerning small fires. Last New Year's they received 227 reports. There were no big fires and firefighters did not have to deal with aggression, the safety office said. 

The Friesland fire brigade and medical services also report a relatively calm and "manageable" New Year's. Between 3:00 p.m. on December 31st and 7:00 a.m. on January 1st, the fire brigade responded 71 times, mainly to small fires. Last year there were 91 fires. The emergency services speak of a "generally pleasant atmosphere" and note that responders were "treated correctly and in a friendly manner almost everywhere".

Twente firefighters also did not deal with any aggression or violence. The fire brigade called it a "manageable changing of the year" on Monday morning. Firefighters responded to 90 reports, mostly involving container fires, according to the Telegraaf. Last year the fire department responded 83 times. 

The police in Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen arrested a total of 31 people over New Year's, the police said. Most of the suspects were arrested for assault, vandalism, insult and illegal fireworks possession. Nine people were arrested in Friesland, 15 in Groningen and seven in Drenthe. Two of the Groningen arrests were connected to a shooting incident in 't Zandt. 

In Geesbrug a 16-year-old was arrested for throwing fireworks at firefighters trying to extinguish a fire. Another 16-year-old was arrested in Assen, also for throwing fireworks at firefighters trying to extinguish a fie on Paganinilaan. In Drachten a party attendee was arrested for punching a security guard. Two suspects were arrested in Wolvega and Groningen for insulting police officers. And in Leeuwarden a police officer was injured when a man he arrested punched him at the police station. 

A 32-year-old man was arrested in Amersfoort around 1:20 a.m.  on Monday for harassing people on Tuinbouwweg and spitting in a police officer's face, the police said in a statement. Officers found what is believed to be hard drugs on the man. The drugs were confiscated.