Dozens of fireworks incidents despite ban
Despite a ban on consumer fireworks this New Year's, dozens of fireworks related incidents were reported across the country. Cars, tires and other objects were also set on fire in various places, with major fires reported in The Hague, Rijswijk, and Katwijk, NU.nl reports.
A video recorded in Rijswijk showed people's clothes catching fire after a large firework bomb was set off. In Katwijk, the riot police were deployed to break up a group of around 40 young people, RTV Katwijk reported.
A 52-year-old man was arrested on Wilhelminaplein in Schiedam on suspicion of threatening young people with a firearm, according to NU.nl. The young people were lighting fireworks. The police fired a warning shot during the arrest. The man's weapon was confiscated and found to be a BB gun. No one was hurt.
Amsterdam saw various incidents involving fireworks being lit and objects being set on fire. The fire brigade responded to multiple container fires, a spokesperson said to NU.nl. Five people were arrested in the Nieuw-West district for throwing fireworks at police officers. No officers were injured. Shortly after midnight, the riot police were deployed to Molukkenstraat in Amsterdam Oost to disperse a group of young people.
Elsewhere in Noord-Holland, fireworks incidents were reported in Texel, Beverwijk, Haarlem, and Oostzaan, among others.
The eastern parts of the country were more restless, with fireworks being set off in various places, a spokesperson for the Gelderland-Zuid safety region said. Emergency services were deployed to incidents in the Betuwe, Bommelerwaard, and Tiel, where a school was set on fire.
In Deventer, the police had to stop a group of young people who were lighting fireworks in a tunnel. In Waardenburg in Gelderland the riot police were deployed to help the fire brigade extinguish a fire. A group of around 100 people tried to hinder the emergency workers. In Nijmegen, firefighters were pelted with fireworks when they tried to put out a bonfire, De Gelderlander reported.
Despite all these incidents, the Oost-Nederland police say it was a lot quieter than other years. "Although it is difficult to compare because of the [fireworks] ban," a spokesperson for the police unit said to NU.nl. Enforcing the ban was not easy, he added. "When you get to the place where it took to the air, everyone is already gone."
In the southern parts of the country, Roosendaal and Den Bosch had to most incidents. In Den Bosch, the mayor issued an emergency decree in the Oost neighbourhood after a car was set on fire, multiple riots, and the police being pelted with fireworks.
The northern part of the country saw the New Year in without major incident, a spokesperson for the Fryslan security region said to NU.nl. Though the fire brigade had to respond to extinguish car fires and other outdoor fires in Drachten, Heerenveen, Marrum, Kollum, and Kollumerzwaag.
Zeeland reported only a few incidents. According to PZC, a man wearing a balaclava threw three incendiary bombs on the street in Vlissingen, shattering the windows of multiple surrounding homes.
In Groningen, a grid operator's cabinet was damaged by fireworks. And the Drenthe emergency services responded to fires in Emmen and Assen. Security regions in both provinces reported a relatively calm New Year's celebration.