Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, …: firefighters and police have been targeted everywhere

Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, …: firefighters and police have been targeted everywhere

On New Year’s Eve, police and firefighters were targeted by fireworks and projectile fire. It happened in Brussels, in Antwerp and also with our Dutch and German neighbours. After the shock of the images, unions and authorities of the cities concerned are wondering about the measures to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

With us, the police union SNPSis very clear. He calls for a zero-tolerance policy towards attacks on law enforcement. Concretelyhe calls for effective sanctions, a faster procedure for these cases of aggression and more efforts to fight against the illegal trade in fireworks. It is they, the fireworks, which have attracted great attention in several cities.

A amsterdamwhere overflows also took place, the mayor proposed their outright ban in the Dutch capital. A Antwerpwe are not of this opinion. We do not consider it useful to prohibit their sale in a general way. “Criminal acts, such as attacks on local residents and emergency services and vandalism will not go away because of a general ban on the sale of fireworks”reacted John vermantthe spokesperson for Mayor Bart De Wever.

The solution according to the authorities: act directly against the rioters, in particular with preventive house arrest. A Berlinaround 30 firefighters and police officers were injured on New Year’s Eve. While firefighters were targeted by projectiles while responding to 1,700 calls on New Year’s Eve, the trade unions are asking for their vehicles to be equipped with on-board cameras. The Berlin police meanwhile are calling for a ban on fireworks. Firefighters say they were well prepared for the festivities, but were surprised by “the number and intensity of attacks on emergency services”.

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