Lighting fireworks everywhere in Amsterdam will be banned from 2019/2020 New Year's. Just like in Rotterdam, the Dutch capital will designate zones where individuals can light fireworks, the rest of Amsterdam will be fireworks-free, mayor Femke Halsema wrote in a letter to the city council on Thursday afternoon, Het Parool reports.
The police want to oblige people caught with illegal fireworks throughout the year to report to the police over New Year's, in an effort to improve the safety of police officers and other emergency workers. Every New Year's there are incidents in which first responders are pelted with fireworks. The police reason that people can't throw illegal fireworks if they have to report to the police over New Year's, NOS reports.
Instead of declaring certain areas in the city firework-free over New Year's, Rotterdam wants to designate areas where fireworks can be lit this year. The city plans to have 35 designated firework zones, NOS reports.
According to mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, it will still be possible for many Rotterdam residents to light fireworks in their neighborhoods. "With the introduction of fireworks zones in our city, we hope to significantly reduce the nuisance and the efforts of our emergency services. At the same time Rotterdam residents who want to can still light fireworks", he said.
Dutch municipalities will get the possibility to ban fireworks over New Year's. A majority in parliament supports this plan, and the government can live with such a local fireworks ban, turned out during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday evening, ANP reports.
The Dutch government will not implement a general ban on firecrackers and firework rockets over New Year's because the cabinet considers this measure too far-reaching, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management wrote in a letter to parliament, ANP reports.
Dutch municipalities may soon be able to ban fireworks completely, instead of only implementing firework-free zones in the municipality over New Year's. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is considering this measure, AD reports based on sources in the coalition.
It seems unlikely that a plan to ban firecrackers before New Year's will be implemented. A majority in parliament is against the plan, doubting how effective it will be in reducing the number of fireworks incidents in the Netherlands every New Year's, NOS reports after speaking with sources around the government.
The Dutch government plans to ban firecrackers before the end of the year, in an effort to make New Year's safer. Firework sellers will also be obliged to give their customers safety goggles and stable firing tubes for rockets, RTL Nieuws reports based in information from insiders in The Hague.
The mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague want the government to hurry up and make a decision on banning firecrackers and firework rockets, Hague mayor Pauline Krikke wrote in a letter on behalf of her colleagues.
The letter is addressed to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management, NOS reports.
The police arrested a suspect in connection with the death of Nathalie Polak. The 21-year-old woman was found dead on New Year's morning after a fire in her apartment on Concorde in Buren.
An autopsy on the young woman's body revealed that she was killed in a crime, the Gelderlander reports. There were also signs of arson in her flat.
A total of 434 people were treated for fireworks related injuries at the emergency rooms of Dutch hospitals over New Year's, a decrease of 8 percent compared to the year before. The number of victims under te age of 15 increased from 99 last year to 119 this year, according to a joint study by VeiligheidNL and broadcaster NOS.
A 49-year-old man was seriously injured when three young men beat him up after allegedly throwing fireworks at the victim and his family early on New Year’s Day. “The man has sustained considerable injuries to his head,” police said in a statement. He was admitted to an area hospital.
It all started at about 2 a.m. when the man was walking with his wife and two teenaged children on Van Nispenlaan in Bemmel, Gelderland, police said in a statement. The suspects were lighting fireworks there, and at one point they threw fireworks towards the family, the report stated.
Thousands of people in the Netherlands welcomed the new year by taking a dip in the cold water at over 140 locations across the country. From noon tens of thousands of people stormed into the cold water, just to storm out again moments later and line up for hot chocolate and soup.
New Year's celebrations with fireworks in the Netherlands generally go hand-in-hand with dozens of firework related injuries, and this year was no exception. The Eye Hospital in Rotterdam already admitted eight people with a total of 10 injured eyes. And dozens of people were admitted to hospital with burns and other firework related injuries.
A cameraman for RTL Nieuws was pelted with dangerous fireworks while reporting in Schilderwsijk in Den Haag on New Year's eve, his employer reports. He was taken to hospital for treatment.
The cameraman's hearing was damaged and he is constantly hearing ringing in his ear, according to the broadcaster. The coming days will show whether the damage is permanent.
The victim reported the incident to the police. The police are looking for witnesses.
At midnight the Netherlands welcomed 2018. Thousands of people attended firework shows in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague, despite the rainy and windy weather. A few fireworks shows had to be canceled due to the weather conditions, NU.nl reports.
The National Fireworks show on and around the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam continued without too many adjustments, according to the newspaper. An estimated 60 thousand people came to watch the fireworks.
One person was killed in a fire in an assisted-living apartment building in the Gelderland town of Buren early on Monday morning. And a 77-year-old resident of a care center in Zeist was injured in a fire the police believe was caused by fireworks.
A group of Arnhem young people's New Year's party ended early when the balcony they were standing on collapsed on Sunday. Three people were injured, one sustaining a back injury. The injured young people were taken to hospital in stable condition, the Gelderlander reports.
According to the fire department, 10 people were standing on the balcony on Kastanjelaan when it collapsed just before midnight. Some others sustained minor injuries and were treated by ambulances that responded to the scene.
Commander Lucien Groenewegen of the Haaglanden fire brigade calls on people in the large Dutch cities to extinguish small fires themselves during New Year's. In this way they can take some pressure off firefighters on what is traditionally a very busy night for them, he said to the Telegraaf.
"Obviously only when it comes to fires that people can extinguish themselves", Groenewegen said. "Citizens must alert us immediately if people are in danger or cars can catch fire."
There were fewer incidents in Amsterdam over New Year's 2016-2017 compared to the previous year. Amsterdam counted a total of 255 incidents involving fireworks, vandalism, arson or abuse during the previous turning of the year. That amounts to 3 incidents per 10,000 inhabitants, compared to 3.6 during the 2015-2016 New Year's celebrations, Het Parool reports based on figures LocalFocus got from the police.
The rest of the week will be cold in the Netherlands, with a chance of wet snow, according to Weerplaza. The weekend will be milder, with a 50/50 chance of rain on New Year's, Weeronline reports.
A low-pressure area is passing almost directly over the Netherlands today, which will result in lots of clouds and rain, according to Weerplaza. On Wednesday night temperatures will drop to 4 or 5 degrees along the coast and to 2 degrees further inland as storms drift into the country from the North Sea.
Interim Amsterdam mayor Jozias van Aartsen wants to implement firework-free zones around hospitals and nursing homes in the Dutch capital next year, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
According to Van Aartsen, such firework-free zones resulted in a drastic reduction in firework related problems and incidents in The Hague, where he was previously mayor. The Amsterdam city council already approved expanding these zones in the city, he said to the newspaper.
Coalition party ChristenUnie supports banning banger- and rocket fireworks in the Netherlands. The Christian party is the first government party to give an opinion on the Dutch Safety Board's advice to do so, RTL Nieuws reports.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security will meet with mayors and the chief of police to discuss the Dutch Safety Board's recommendation that banger- and rocket-type fireworks be banned, he said at the start of the Council of Ministers on Friday. After that, he will discuss the report with the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, AD reports.