Dutch cops want those caught with illegal fireworks to report to police station over New Year's
The police want to oblige people caught with illegal fireworks throughout the year to report to the police over New Year's, in an effort to improve the safety of police officers and other emergency workers. Every New Year's there are incidents in which first responders are pelted with fireworks. The police reason that people can't throw illegal fireworks if they have to report to the police over New Year's, NOS reports.
"Every year there is again aggression and violence against our people during New Year's and in that fireworks are also thrown", Ruud Verkuijlen of the National Police said to the broadcaster. "We have the proposition: if you implement the duty to report, those people will no longer be able to throw those fireworks at us."
Such an obligation to report can be imposed by mayors. Verkuijlen acknowledged that this is a serious measure, but he thinks it is worth it considering the risks illegal fireworks entail. "Incidents occur every year in which people are hit with illegal fireworks."
This past New Year's, 434 people were treated for fireworks related injuries at the emergency rooms of Dutch hospitals. The Dutch Safety Board called for a nationwide ban on firecrackers and rockets, as these types of fireworks cause the most damage and injuries. The Dutch government decided against the ban, instead opting to let municipalities decide for themselves how to deal with fireworks over New Year's.
Rotterdam announced that instead of maintaining firework-free zones, the city will allocate designated zones where fireworks can be lit.