Violence in Winschoten prompts city to cancel nighttime events
The municipality of Oldambt canceled the Nacht van Winschoten - the nighttime part of the Winschoten fair on Friday and Saturday - following a series of violent incidents. “The recent incidents are intense,” said mayor Cora-Yfke Sikkema, RTV Noord reports. Based on information from the police and Public Prosecution Service (OM), she decided to cancel the Nacht.
There will be no live music or other activities on Marktpplein on Friday and Saturday. The fair will end at 8:00 p.m., and catering establishments must close by 2:00 a.m. “Very unfortunate for the organizers. They have committed to creating another great Nacht this year. But safety comes first,” the mayor said.
She also announced strict measures during the two days of the fair. “The police have been permitted to search everyone within the designated security risk area. And there will be camera surveillance on and around the Marktplein on both Friday and Saturday night.”
These measures follow a week of incidents in Winschoten and the surrounding area, according to the broadcaster. On July 6, there was a confrontation between two groups at an ice cream parlor on Venne in Winschoten in which a 29-year-old man got stabbed. That same evening, two shootings occurred on Transportbaan and Papierbaan in Winschoten.
On Monday, shots were fired at a hair salon in Oude Pekela. Early on Wednesday morning, an explosion occurred at a beauty salon on Herestraat in Stad.
Bullet holes were found in the windows of a sports bar on Marktplein - where Nacht van Winschoten would’ve happened - on Wednesday. And on Thursday morning, two suspects tried to shoot at another building on the square but failed.
The mayor closed the sports bar for a month to prevent recurrence and restore calm to the neighborhood.