Sparks are flying over the availability and use of fireworks with New Year’s Eve fast approaching. Overnight an officer was kicked in the face over a fireworks dispute, pyrotechnics were placed in letterboxes of homes, and an elderly man was beaten for requesting young boys take their fireworks elsewhere.
A 41-year-old Dinteloord man remains under arrest after kicking a supervision officer (BOA) in the face. The suspect allegedly threw an object towards a group of containers. “There was a big blaze and it was accompanied by a huge explosion,” the police said.
While the pair of officers present began fireworks nuisance report for the incident, they asked the suspect for proof of his identity. Instead of handing it over, he allegedly insulted the officials and tried to make a run for it.
The officers pursued the man and a struggle ensued, during which one of the BOAs was kicked in the face and injured. Police officers arrived and came to the aid and handcuffed and arrested the suspect on grounds of mistreatment. The suspect was removed for questioning.
Not an isolated incident
It’s the latest in a series of attacks relating to fireworks. According to RTL Nieuws, a house in Deventer has been targeted twice this year, blowing the letterbox out of the door and rattling the windows.
A house in Sluiskil in Zeeland and another in Roosendaal were also damaged by firework attacks. The occupant of the latter building told Omroep Brabant that she and her husband were lucky after fireworks were stuffed through their letterbox. “My husband locked the door a moment earlier. If it had happened one minute earlier, he would not have been there again.”
Last weekend, a 73-year-old man was beaten up by three young boys after asking them not to use the pyrotechnics near his house because they were upsetting his cats. He has severely bruised ribs after the boys turned on him.
How are these attacks possible?
Fireworks have always been readily accessible in the Netherlands for New Years Eve, a tradition observed by generations. They are sold on just three days of the year: 29th, 30th, and 31st.
For eight hours a year, New Year’s Day at 6:00 pm, until January 1, 2:00 am, fireworks can be lit in Holland. Children as young as twelve years old can make their own explosions of lighter-style fireworks, and adults can light heavier-style pyrotechnics. Individuals are allowed to have up to 25 kilos of fireworks per person.
People lighting fireworks outside of the designated hours risk a fine of 100 euros and confiscation of their other fireworks. If the fireworks are illegal, the fine can be up to 400 euros per item.
Fireworks have been under the microscope in recent years, with some calling for a total ban of the pyrotechnic devices.
Do you think fireworks in the Netherlands should be banned or subject to heavier restrictions? Let us know in the comments below!
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