Fireworks wreak havoc across Netherlands: officer kicked in face, homes targeted

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.

Potential ban

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!

Feature Image: Rathnahar Sriom/Pexels

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I’m for a ban on public fireworks and have been for years. Used to live in the US and watched 20,000 hectares of pristine forest burn up because of a firework thrown by a kid (Eagle Creek Fire).

    Unsurprisingly, waking up to find that someone blew up my letter box with a firework hasn’t changed my opinion.

    • That’s just awful. Irrevocable loss and your sense of safety in your own home diminished. So very sorry to hear about this.

  2. Seriously? This is an amazing example of how news twists information to perpetuate a result that will not fix the root issue. People didn’t do these actions BECAUSE of fireworks, but while using them. Society has not eliminated cars because drunk people drive them, so why eliminate fireworks for the same reason? Our society is treating it’s fellow people poorly, this is the underlying issue, WHY are people so selfish? So angry towards others? In such a need for having their own way? People don’t fall pray to this form of media manipulation.

    • Take your point but as David has said, surely restrictions are necessary and then we can look at the underlying causes. I have celebrated N.Y. in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Tokyo and the North of England and never experienced this. These are places where restrictions take place and are enforced-not so much about banning cars but perhaps not handing the steering wheel to those that don’t understand the consequences.

  3. A total ban needs to be put in place as 1 death is 1 too many. The behaviour of many Dutch on New Years Eve does not warrant any other decision.

  4. Fireworks should be banned completley
    Definitely not good for the environment and a mess is left behind. I deliever post and fireworks were going off from 10h00 hours already with very loud bangs and had 2 thrown at me. They only stopped at 02h30 Way out of the apparent time constriction

  5. I agree with David. It isn’t so much of an issue in the UK and has been less of an issue for years. It started at 4pm in Alphen a/d Rijn and went on till 4am. They were being thrown at the houses. Bear in mind that there had been fireworks for most of December, night and day, gradually getting worse. It is clearly out of hand. On the streets where we live it had become feral. People have died, animals have died. The environment suffers greatly (sadly recycling supermarket bags is not going to reverse this devastation). https://www.terrapass.com/fireworks-impact-environment
    Our cats were traumatised. We had no idea it would be like this and would have thought twice about being here otherwise for the sake of our pets. I know the elderly and many children (including children with autism) suffer. I believe this to be a more progressive country.

  6. Fireworks are explosives and should certainly be banned. They terrify animals and cause a lot of injuries and some deaths. The full cost of this lunacy should be made clear and include all short and long term medical consequences. The incalculable pain of those who have lost loved ones need to be stressed.
    There may be an argument for professionally organised and licensed displays on special occasions but the current system is simply wrong.

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