Dutch police stretched thin in dealing with illegal parties
Dutch police union NPB hopes that the Cabinet will relax lockdown restrictions on Tuesday. The police are stretched thin with enforcing the coronavirus rules, breaking up illegal parties almost every weekend. Enforcement is no longer sustainable, NPB chairman Jan Struijs said to NOS.
Over the weekend, for example, illegal parties were broken up in various places in Amsterdam - including at a police station under construction on Zeeburgeiland. In Arnhem, the police also broke up a party in an open-air museum.
"We see that tensions are rising enormously and that society is stretched thin," Struijs said to the broadcaster. And it is not only young people yearning for more freedom. "We went to illegal parties where people over the age of 50 also gathered en mass. They need an outlet, and we prefer regulated catering with rules." The catering industry "did very well" with sticking to the applicable rules last time.
On Sunday, the police unions protested against the high workload and "chronic understaffing" at the police before the PSV vs. Ajax match. Police officers went on strike for an hour for a union meeting.
The Cabinet is meeting on Monday to discuss the coronavirus restrictions. Sources told Dutch media that the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advised the Cabinet to let the catering- and cultural sectors reopen, but with an 8:00 p.m. closing time, mandatory coronavirus access passes, and a limit on the number of visitors. The cultural sector has already raised objections to the evening lockdown, with theaters and cinemas saying that a closing time of 8:00 p.m. will leave them with little to no time to do anything.