Enforcement officers attacked on IJmuiden beach; two arrested

Enforcement officer in Amsterdam, 7 May 2017
Enforcement officer in Amsterdam, 7 May 2017Photo: Lukassek/DepositPhotos

Two enforcement officers were attacked by a group of young people on the beach in IJmuiden on Thursday afternoon. One was taken to hospital with an injury to his face. The police arrested two suspects and are looking for a third.

A video posted on Dutch video sharing site Dumpert shows the two enforcement officers walking on the beach with a group of young people around them. Out of nowhere, some of the young people started attacking the enforcers. The incident happened on 't Kwelderpad, a path that leads to the beach, at around 5:40 p.m., according to the police.

A witness told NH Nieuws that the enforcers told a group of young people not to jump off a pier. One of them did not have their ID card, and the attack started when the enforcers wanted to detain the young person, the witness said.

Veiligheidsregio Kennemerland, the local security region, called the attack a 'shadow over the day'. "We really need our enforcers on days like today. The fact that they are being treated this way is deeply said," a spokesperson said to NH Nieuws.

Marianne Schuurmans, president of the safety region and mayor of Haarlemmermeer, told NOS that she wants to equip the local enforcement officers with body cams. "At least then we will show that we are filming," she said to the broadcaster. "And maybe they can get an emergency button, the same one the police have." Schuurmans also wants to look into whether enforcers and police officers can respond together more often, if things get out of hand. 

The mayor called the attack in IJmuiden unacceptable. "I am really shocked by the images. Those guys were there to help us and to keep an eye on our health and safety. I think that this is unacceptable."

Enforcement officers have been demanding to be armed for their own defense for a long time, but always faced resistance from the police and politicians. Recently mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam said that enforcers' role is to deescalate a situation, and involving weapons will not achieve that.