The police are worried about enforcing local firework bans over New Year's and doubt whether these bans contribute to safety, National Police Chief Erik Akerboom said in a letter to parliament. "Maintaining public order is becoming a lot more complex for my people", he said in the letter, the Telegraf reports.
Last year there were 10,593 incidents of violence against police officers in the Netherlands, the police said in a statement. That is a significant increase compared to the 9,101 violent incidents Dutch cops faced in 2017.
Municipal enforcers are very concerned about New Year's and the increasing number of firework-free zones they have to enforce, without means to defend themselves if they are in trouble. "This can easily go wrong", Eric Lakeman of the Dutch enforcers' union NBB said to newspaper AD.
In the Netherlands enforcers are rarely equipped with batons. This means that they have to make sure no one light fireworks in areas they are not allowed to completely unarmed. The NBB pleads for all enforcers to be equipped with batons, pepper spray and bodycams before New Year's.
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.
Last year police officers in the Netherlands faced 9,101 incidents of verbal or physical violence directed at them. That means that every day last year 25 police officers were insulted, threatened or physically abused while working, NOS reports.