The VVD in Amsterdam wants more force to be exerted on the setting off of illegal fireworks. Also argues for tailor-made solutions for the local group of the Liberals; in a different big city passenger according to the party measures than in the countryside. “People have a lot to say about illegal fireworks. We really have to do something about it,” says VVD Amsterdam party chairman Claire Martens in Good Morning Netherlands.
In Amsterdam, the number of nuisance reports due to illegal fireworks increased sevenfold in October from a year earlier. “Older people, in particular, do not go out on the street with a good feeling. Pets are also stressed. Anyone with a dog knows how annoying that is on New Year’s Eve,” says Martens, who notes that fireworks are set off earlier every year. “There is a trend.”
Setting off fireworks is only allowed around the turn of the year. Fireworks may be sold on December 29, 30 and 31. “The fireworks you hear now are illegal,” concludes Martens. “So we are not solving this problem by tackling sales. You have to intercept it elsewhere.”
Close and search homes
Martens therefore advocates strict enforcement at the border. “And if illegal fireworks do enter the Netherlands, you have to track them down. At the moment you see houses in residential areas where very large quantities of illegal fireworks are found. Those homes must close immediately to prevent them from being used as a distribution point.”
Also, the liberal police will fortify the street on fireworks. “You have to search so that the fireworks are not set off.” But the priority is to prevent the fireworks from ending up on the street, probably the VVD member. “On New Year’s Eve, I don’t ask a cop to approach people who set off heavy illegal fireworks.”
She also advocates customization. “In a very densely populated city, fireworks nuisance is a different story than when you live in a very rural residential area.” At present, a municipality is not yet allowed to deviate from the national policy.
Martens is not convinced that a total fireworks ban and probable measures are necessary to prevent it in the future. “Many people appreciate decorative fireworks. This is really about the loud, illegal bangers. You have to keep that off the street so that people can continue to enjoy decorative fireworks.”
Amsterdam holds a large fireworks show during the turn of the year. It is still unclear how many visitors will follow, says Martens. If it’s a success, think they can offer such a show in the future when a consumer fireworks ban is in order. “Let’s see it as a trial. If things go very well in Amsterdam, I think we should all look at it together.”
Door: Peter Visser