Radio mast companies and telecom providers in the Netherlands are hiring extra security to guard against arsonists targeting their transmission masts. After two cell towers in Roermond and Roosendaal were set alight this week, the total number of transmission mast arson incidents in the country stands at 29.
Mayors in the Netherlands will not deploy extra enforcement when terraces are allowed to reopen on June 1st, Hubert Bruls, Nijmegen mayor and chairman of the Security Council said on Monday. "In the first instance, the ball lies with the catering entrepreneur and the customers themselves. They must ensure that they can keep their distance from each other," he said, De Limburger reports.
Enforcement officers held actions in eight cities on Tuesday to protest against the violence they encounter during their work. They feel that recent incidents show why enforcement officers need to be armed with 'defensive equipment' like batons and pepper spray. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is against arming enforcers, but for equipping them with bodycams and emergency buttons.
Restaurants, cafes and other catering facilities will be allowed to reopen their doors at noon on June 1 and not before, according to the wishes of the Security Council, sources told RTL Nieuws.
The Security Council consists of the mayors that head the Netherlands' 25 safety regions. The Safety Council was given the opportunity to express how it wants the catering industry to reopen from the coronavirus lockdown. By opening at noon and not immediately after midnight, the mayors hope to prevent too many people from going out at night and thereby any "impromptu" parties.
The mayors that head the Netherlands' safety regions are confident about terraces opening on June 1st. More and more people are going out, but they are largely maintaining social distancing, according to the mayors. "The Dutch largely behave fantastically," Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen and head of the Security Council, the council of safety regions, said on Monday, Hart van Nederland reports.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is updating the law on sexually transgressing behavior so that more forms of sex crimes, both online and offline, are covered by it. One of the main changes is that an adult sending sexual explicit images to a child will soon explicitly be a punishable offense, the Minister said in a statement.
The Dutch Safety Board will investigate the government's response to the coronavirus epidemic in the Netherlands. The different phases of the crisis and response will be investigated, from start to finish, a spokesperson for the Safety Board (OVV) said to NOS.
The measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be in force for a while yet, according to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. He understands that more Netherlands residents will want to push the boundaries, especially as the weather improves. But he urges them to stick to the rules, NOS reports.
The police system for occupational diseases, incidents and accidents at work is being improved so that police officers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can more quickly get the help they need, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhuis of Justice and Security announced after making agreements about this with the trade unions and Central Works Council.
The mayors in the Netherlands are hoping that the government will specifically relax anti-coronavirus measures around children and young people. They are concerned about the lack of movement room for young people and "the enforcement problems that creates", mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam said on Monday evening after a meeting of the Security Council - the council for the safety regions in the Netherlands, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
The Cabinet is not planning on major changes which would loosen up the existing rules in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 before Apr. 28, two ministers suggested on Monday. This comes amid growing speculation around how the Netherlands will emerge from its "intelligent lockdown" ahead of a planned Tuesday press conference with Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
"Let's not be under the illusion that we can take big steps," warned Minister of Health Hugo De Jonge to the broadcaster NOS on Monday after a meeting with Rutte.
Some Rotterdam residents found it difficult to adhere to the social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus over Easter weekend. A group of young people attacked enforcement officers when they were fined, hurting five enforcers. And a barbecue on a Rotterdam roof ended up costing the 17 attendees a total of nearly 7 thousand euros in fines. Rotterdam is using camera equipped cars to find groups faster.
During the upcoming Easter weekend, several popular stops and smaller roads will be closed to motorcycle riders and cyclists, the safety regions decided after groups of motorcyclists were spotted out in the spring sun last weekend. The Dutch and German authorities will also implement stricter controls on the border during the long weekend. "Tourists will be addressed. They are often sensitive to that, Minster Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Netherlands' Outbreak Management Team advised the government to extend current measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 through to end-April or early-May. The team also recommended limiting inland tourism, sources in The Hague told RTL Nieuws. The government is meeting on Tuesday to decide which advice to follow and will officially announce measures in a press conference expected around 7:00 p.m.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security was infuriated by people flocking to parks, beaches and forests in groups over the weekend. "This is embarrassing and completely wrong. Let me be clear about that," he said in an interview with EenVandaag on Sunday evening. "It is embarrassing to see people in healthcare working their fingers to the bone, and that 40 people are walking through a forest a little further away."
Stringent measures taken to battle the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 are affecting all aspects of the Netherlands. Most court cases and parliamentary debates have been canceled. Community service has been suspended. And the Netherlands is no longer taking in asylum seekers. Freelancers suddenly unable to go to work are also facing problems.
The National Police is not doing enough to help police officers struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unnecessarily difficult for traumatized officers to get compensation and their reintegration is not handled properly, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in a letter to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. He called on the Minister to quickly fix this problem, RTL Nieuws reports
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health and Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security are submitting a legislative proposal to ban the basic ingredients of so-called designer drugs. In this way they want all new designer drugs to automatically be banned by the Opium Act, the Telegraaf reports.
The government is holding a crisis meeting on how to deal with coronavirus Covid-19 on Tuesday morning. The so-called "ministerial crisis management committee' will gather to discuss the current state of affairs, how effective the current measures are, and whether further measures are needed, RTL Nieuws reports.
Attendees of the meeting includes Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, and public health institute RIVM.
A shadow of anti-Semitism hangs around Jewish caricatures seen in the carnival parade in Aalst over the weekend and last year, Dutch Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said to NPO Radio 1 program Dit is de Dag.
Grapperhaus said he saw photos of the parade and finds it "totally wrong", "tasteless", and "below all levels". "This does not fit into our society," he said.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is stepping up the fight against children and teenagers carrying knives and other stabbing weapons, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf. On Monday the mayors of Nissewaard and Ridderkerk called for a nationwide ban on minors carrying these weapons. And mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam announced that he will fine the parents of children caught twice with knives.
Russia asked the Netherlands in a letter to hand over the prosecution of three Russian men suspected of involvement in the downing of flight MH17, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security informed the Tweede Kamer. He told Moscow that this was out of the question, he said to the parliamentarians, NOS reports.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security knew about a corruption investigation against The Hague aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui at least 10 months before their homes were raided in October last year, NOS and Omroep West report based on documents requested from the Public Prosecution Service through the Government Information Act. Former mayor Pauline Krikke was not aware of the investigation during that period.
The Public Prosecutor and PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed hard in an appeal hearing on the hate speech trial against Wilders on Wednesday. Wilders said the advocates general on his case should be ashamed of how they damaged citizens' trust in the system. Advocate general Gerard Sta accused Wilders of an "undisguised attack" on the Public Prosecution Service (OM), NU.nl re ports.