Young people clash with Helmond police after illegal boxing match; local curfew implemented

Netherlands police uniform
A police officer walking the beat in Amsterdam. 5 May 2015Photo: Joeppoulssen / DepositPhotos

The police clashed with a group of 100 to 150 young people in the streets of Helmond on Tuesday evening. The group had gathered in the city for an illegal boxing match, summoned by a call on social media. They threw stones and lit fireworks at police officers, according to the police. Dog handlers and riot police were called in to disperse the group. Six young people were arrested, reports.

The group was dispersed at around 11:30 p.m., the police said. At 00:15 a.m., it was quiet in the city again. Though the police remained visible on the streets as a preventative measure. Five of the detainees were arrested for public violence, the sixth for carrying a knife. 

Mayer Elly Blanksma-van den Heuvel issued an emergency degree on Tuesday evening, implementing a curfew on a number of streets in the municipality. For the time being, no one will be allowed to enter those streets between 11:15 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. - with an exception for persons "for whom it is imperative to be on the road for urgent reasons."

The municipality noted the boxing match announcement on social media and responded to the call, but the group nevertheless gathered on Tuesday evening, a municipal spokesperson said to the newspaper. "You don't want such a large group of young people coming together now," the spokesperson said. According to him, groups of young people often gather to organize boxing matches in the city. A similar match happened in a Helmond park two weeks ago.