Fifth night of curfew largely quiet; Few rioters on the street
Wednesday night, the fifth night since a curfew was implemented in the Netherlands, was relatively quiet throughout the country. Even cities that had been restless in recent days, like Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, reported no major incidents. The police attribute this to a large number of officers on the streets, and the arrests of people who called for riots on social media, police chief Willem Woelders said to Nieuwsuur.
"Fortunately we can say that it is quiet at the moment," Woelders said to the program on Wednesday evening. "We have seen a number of groups on the street, but they were immediately approached by colleagues."
Woelders attributed the quiet night, after three nights of riots in many municipalities and a fourth night of riots in a few, to a combination of factors. "The police take active action when people do things that are not allowed or we suspect," he said. "And what I think is also very important: we still see a lot of posts on social media and we act on them. On the one hand to recognize where something is happening, but I can tell you that today we already arrested about 20 people who did this sedition from home.".
Like in previous nights, the most arrests were made in Rotterdam - as far as is currently known, NU.nl reports. While there were significantly fewer incidents, 25 people were arrested for more minor offenses, like failing to identify themselves or violating the coronavirus rules. Two people were arrested in Hardewijk, one for sedition and one for carrying a knife. Two men were arrested in Utrecht for calling for riots in the city on social media.
The police arrested a minor boy from Zuidhorn in Groningen for calling on others to take petrol to the city of Groningen and loot shops in a chat group with 425 members. The chat group was also shut down. A 19-year-old man and a minor were arrested in Drachten for calling for riots. A 17-year-old boy was arrested in Oosterhout for inciting violence. A Limburg man was arrested on suspicion of sedition, calling for violence against the government and its employees.
Due to concerns of rioting, multiple municipalities issued emergency degrees or emergency ordinances on Wednesday, including Haarlem, Drachten, Vlaardingen, Heerlen, and Hardewijk.