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Excessive New Yearís Eve rowdiness produces calls for snelrecht

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

APELDOORN — New Year's Eve celebrations increasingly have become rowdy events, which require extensive attention of the police, of firefighters and of ambulance attendants. The problems do not end there, as the night of December 31 illustrated so well. Unruly gangs of celebrants turned against emergency services personnel in a number of places, making it sometimes impossible to extend aid where it was needed. In numerous places groups of young people smashed public and private property, especially shelters at bus stops. Fire fighters attended to over 800 fires, often involving older cars torched in streets and intersections and illegal Christmas tree bonfires. Although such situations occurred on previous Year Endís as well, this yearís large number of incidents alarmed authorities to the extent that the issue was raised in the Second Chamber of Parliament the following day. A consensus quickly formed among the various parties that authorities require tools for stringent action, including the option to detain perpetrators until dealt with through snelrecht. Justice meted out without the customary process, that usually involves delays, gained the (cautious) support even from leftwing parties.