95,000 fines issued in total to people who violated the curfew
Some 95,000 fines were issued to people who violated the government-imposed curfew that was introduced on January 23 to slow the spread of coronavirus, police confirmed on Thursday. The measure, which was withdrawn on Wednesday, required more work to be put in by officers, especially during a number of violent protests and riots across the country in recent months, the police said.
The extra effort required to ensure the controversial measure was obeyed resulted in considerably more working hours for police officers since the introduction of the curfew. In the first three months of 2021, a total of over 212,000 extra hours was recorded, an increase of 65 percent compared to the same period last year.
A large number of deployments around demonstrations and riots in particular police officers working more than usual. The police registered more than 1,500 demonstrations in the period from January to April. The number is twice that of the first four months of 2020, and twenty percent larger compared to 2019 figures. Police officers from Mobile Unit (ME) and Detention Unit (AE) in particular faced longer shifts and often worked several weekends in a row.
"This has made enormous demands on police officers, who have not had enough time for rest, practice leisure activities and spend time with their families. Society can expect from the police that we maintain public order and safety. We do that, even though it puts considerable pressure on our people," said police chief Willem Woelen.
The controversial measure was the first national curfew since World War II, and called for the public to remain indoors during curfew hours with few exceptions. It was abolished as part of the first set of measures relaxations meant to get the country out of the lockdown before the beginning of July.
The chairman of the national acute care network LNAZ Ernst Kuipers argued on Thursday that the curfew had no significant effect on the number of hospital admissions.