Third night of trouble in The Hague: Building torched, Dozens held
Dozens of people were arrested during the third straight night of intense unrest in the Schilderswijk area of The Hague. Police also had their hands full in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht, where between 20 and 30 people were taken into custody.
In The Hague, a Molotov cocktail ignited a large kiosk at a playground, according to broadcaster NOS. Police said the building was used as a shop for selling games and sporting equipment.
“During the night, small groups of people stayed at various places near the Vaillantlaan / Hoefkade [intersection] and threw stones and heavy fireworks at the police,” authorities said in a statement. Around 50 young people had assembled on the two streets, an area subject to an emergency order issued earlier in the day by Mayor Jan van Zanen.
Police said they tried to break up the crowd and leave the area, but when they refused officers began arresting people. Some 27 people were arrested in total on charges of violating the emergency order, assault, sedition, insulting authorities, and making threats. Six scooters were also seized by police.
Those arrested in Schilderswijk were subject to a 90-day area ban from the hours of 6 p.m. through 6 a.m., the Public Prosecution Service said in a statement on Friday.
Authorities said they hoped that more interaction and discussion with the community could help put an end to the skirmishes there. “Also this evening, neighborhood prevention teams, youth workers, fathers from the neighborhood and community police officers walked through the neighborhood together to start a conversation with the youth on the street,” police said.
Several media outlets also reported on trouble in Kanaleneiland, a neighborhood in Utrecht, where fireworks were thrown, and a car was set on fire. Concern had built up in the neighborhood earlier in the day after messages were posted to social media calling for rioting near the Rijnbaan shopping center.
Police were reportedly sweeping the neighborhood to take contact details of suspicious people departing the area, and arresting those who refuse to leave. As many as 30 people were arrested, a police source told local broadcaster RTV Utrecht.