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.
At least six of the Netherlands' Ministries are currently working on a protocol to ensure that tourism in the country can restart and run smoothly, despite the coronavirus crisis, sources in The Hague told the Telegraaf.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, for example, is looking into the impact tourism has on the road network, public transport, shipping, and aviation. Based on this, the government will determine what measures are necessary to keep transport safe, accessible and not too crowded once tourists return.
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 number of incidents in asylum seekers' centers in the Netherlands more than doubled over the past five years, from over 8 thousand to nearly 17 thousand last year, NRC reported based on documents from the Ministry of Justice and Security.
Reported incidents involve things like name calling, fighting, hunger strikes, and arson. Over the past years, the number of reports of house rule violations and verbal abuse increased particularly sharply, according to the newspaper.
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 Dutch government has launched a nationwide campaign in an attempt to address the prevalence of domestic violence, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic response when more people are spending more time at home, two government ministries jointly announced on Saturday.
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 number of registered crimes in which an asylum seeker is a suspect increased by over a quarter last year, from nearly 4 thousand in 2018 to nearly 5 thousand cases in 2019, the Telegraaf reports based on an incident overview by the Ministry of Justice and Security that the newspaper has in its possession. The number of asylum seekers increased by three percent to nearly 55 thousand last year.
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.
Health agency RIVM warned the Dutch public of a cyber scam disguised to look like an emergency alert that was blasted out to mobile phone users Monday morning. The message started with the phrase "NL-Alert", the name of the country's national crisis communications system, and was sent out to phones via SMS.
The RIVM does not itself send out NL-Alerts, a spokesperson told NL Times.
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.
A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament is in favor of sheltering refugees currently staying in overfull camps on the Greek island of Lesbos on cruise ships in order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among them like wildfire. The parliamentarians called on the Dutch government to push for this solution on a European level, AD reports.
Prison guards at the Penitentiary Institution in Lelystad used pepper spray to put an end to a protest by prisoners on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security confirmed to NU.nl. Sources told RTL Boulevard that the prisoners rebelled because of the measures against the coronavirus in the institution.
The Justice spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny whether Covid-19 measures were behind the protest. Due to the risk of contamination, detainees have not been allowed visitors for nearly a month. Their day program was also limited for the same reason.
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.
Spring in the Netherlands started out with a record number of sunny hours this year, according to Weerplaza. Over the past 11 days, there were over 100 hours of sunshine in the country, breaking the 1933 record of 98 sunny hours. The sunny weather made it difficult for some people to stick to the social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid 19.
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.
A massive 97 percent of Vietnamese children taken in by the protected asylum shelter in the Netherlands have disappeared, according to the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children. "The suspicion that a large proportion of these children fall into the hands of human traffickers or people smugglers have been confirmed." The Netherlands must do something, Rapporteur Herman Bolhaar said, NU.nl reports.
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."
Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.