A spokesperson for the National Police has announced that there will be “a lot more police” out on the streets this New Year’s Eve. This is because coronavirus restrictions and the fireworks ban will have to be enforced.
The spokesperson explains that New Year’s Eve “is always a high-risk event.” However, this year will be extra challenging for police, RTL Nieuws reports.
But the fireworks ban will be the least of their problems. The real issue will be the enforcement of coronavirus restrictions. They believe people will be socially discontent due to the measures.
“People are tired of corona restrictions and need an outlet. The events that normally provide entertainment and distraction, such as the countdown moments and the bonfires, cannot continue and the catering industry is closed.”
Twice as many police officers in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s Chief of Police, Frank Paauw, has claimed that there will be twice as many police officers on the capital’s streets this New Year’s.
He believes that the city will be under considerable risk this year because people will be unable to celebrate in bars or restaurants. Instead, the fear is that people will take to the streets. “It will be a difficult night”, he says.
Varies between municipalities
However, while Amsterdam will deploy twice as many police officers, cities such as Rotterdam and Utrecht will not.
Rotterdam will see the usual number of police deployed this New Year’s. A spokesperson for the municipality tells RTL that since the shops, bars and restaurants will be closed, there will be no nightlife and therefore, no need for extra officers.
Similarly, Utrecht will not be deploying extra officers, however the force is trying to determine potential hotspots for fireworks in order to respond quickly if necessary.
The National Police Chief has emphasised that these steps are necessary in order to prevent the further spread of coronavirus throughout the Netherlands. “We do it together so that healthcare is not overburdened.”
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