The police also advocate a total ban on the setting of fireworks in the coming year. In doing so, police are agreeing to a call from regional mayors and doctors, who previously insisted on a temporary total fireworks ban, to ease pressure on health care due to the corona virus.
“As a society, we have a responsibility to prevent people from ending up in hospitals unnecessarily,” says Ruud Verkuijlen, Violence Against Police Program Manager (GTPA), explaining the position of the police.
He also explains that the police can enforce more precisely with a temporary full ban. “In addition, as an employer, we want to give our employees, as well as boas and social workers, the certainty that they can be treated if they are injured on New Year’s Eve,” says Verkuijlen.
In anticipation of a possible outright ban, police say they will thwart online fireworks trading as much as possible through the use of innovative detection methods. In early October, seven people were arrested on suspicion of selling professional fireworks to private buyers. In cooperation with the German police, at least 50,000 kilos of professional and mass explosive fireworks were confiscated. So far, almost 25,000 kilos of illegal fireworks have also been intercepted. For comparison: For the entire last year that was more than 61,000 kilos. Random samples in the border region deter private individuals from buying fireworks abroad.
“With a total temporary ban, all eyes will be even more on our tightened approach to illegal fireworks. It is precisely for this reason that we concentrate our knowledge and insights on combating fireworks crime and have introduced a national focus by setting up a special task force, ”says Verkuijlen. “All levels of the police force, from police officers to specialized services, contribute to the approach. We are also working closely with Boas on enforcement. We are finding that people’s backups are getting shorter due to the corona measures. A tightening of the fireworks ban can increase social dissatisfaction. We therefore take all scenarios into account when preparing for old and new. “