Unrest in Hague neighborhoods as New Year's approaches; 19 arrested

Police officers on the street
Police officers on the streetPhoto: Politie

Multiple neighborhoods in The Hague were restless on Monday night, the night before New Year's Eve. The police arrested a total of 19 people, on suspicion of throwing fireworks and arson, among other things, NOS reports.

A party was held on Dr. De Visserplein, organized by the volunteers behind the canceled New Year's bonfire on Scheveningen beach. When the party was over, multiple fires were set in the area and the police had to intervene. At around midnight, the police ordered everyone to leave the street and arrested those who refused.

A total of 15 people were arrested after the party. One of them, a minor, was released a short time later. The other 14, including five minors, are still in custody and will be questioned on Tuesday

Four other minors were arrested elsewhere for arson and throwing fireworks. They did not spend the night in custody, but were ordered to report to a police station on Tuesday morning, according to NOS.

On Monday morning the police raided several locations in the Duindorp neighborhood of The Hague. A total of six people were arrested for rioting in the neighborhood after it was announced that there would be no New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Duindorp and Scheveningen this year. The municipality refused to issue permits for the events because the organizers could not meet all the stricter requirements set after the Scheveningen bonfire caused multiple small fires in the neighborhood on 1 January 2019. 

Among those arrested on Monday morning is a man suspected of throwing a firework bomb underneath a police van on December 3rd. One of the seven police officers in the van at the time sustained permanent hearing damage.

The arrests were made with a show of force, local residents said to NOS. "Doors were kicked in and in one case the police went in with their guns drawn. And that where children were present," a witness said to the broadcaster. 

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