King's Day, King's Night widely celebrated without incident

Koningsnacht Koningsdag 2019 in Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt
People filled the Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam Centrum to celebrate Koningsnacht. Apr. 26, 2019Photo: NL Times

People across the Netherlands took to the streets Friday night and Saturday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander's birthday. By 4 p.m. on Saturday, only a handful of atypical arrests were announced by authorities.

Only a handful of people were stopped in the biggest cities of the Netherlands, including just three in Amsterdam on King's Day, a police spokesperson told Over a hundred incidents in the city overnight required an ambulance to be dispatched, mostly to treat people under the influence of alcohol. No "significant incidents" were announced by overnight and first shift police teams in Breda, Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam, and The Hague.

In Almere, police detained or arrested about a dozen people overnight. Authorities declared the city center to be an area at risk of violence when two rival youth gangs announced intention to brawl there. Nine of the suspects were held on weapons-related charges, including teenagers as young as 15 allegedly armed with screwdrivers, according to broadcaster NOS.

A stabbing incident early Saturday morning in Enschede left a 21-year-old man injured. Two people were arrested in connection with the violent act. Investigators were still trying to determine the motive later that morning.

Of 104 people stopped in random searches in Zaandam, police reprimanded five. One was carrying about two dozen ecstasy pills, police suspect, while two had small knives on their person.

On Saturday in Castricum, a reported case of vandalism by a group of people on a train forced a delay. Authorities told broadcaster NOS that one person was arrested while 50 were removed from the train at the station. The extent of the damage to the train was not revealed. The resulting delays were on trains travelling between Alkmaar and Haarlem and Alkmaar and Amsterdam, but those delays ended in the afternoon.

Authorities kicked off their Koningsdag outreach by using social media platforms to ask partiers to be especially careful of pickpockets. They provided videos in Dutch and English showing a common distraction tactic that thieves use, while also giving tips on remaining defensive.