THE HAGUE, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Netherlands started the new year with wind and rain and a 17-percent decrease of incidents and also less severe incidents during New Year's Eve compared to last year, the Dutch police announced on Monday.
Last year 7,126 incidents were recorded. During the turn of the year 2017 to 2018 and this year the amount of incidents was 5,930. The largest numerical decrease concerned the number of fireworks incidents. This category fell by 27 percent, from nearly 3,000 in 2016/2017 to 2,140 incidents in 2017/2018.
The number of arrests fell by 22 percent compared to the previous year. In 2016/2017 488 people were arrested, this year 382. The figures relate to the period from 0.00 p.m. on December 31, 2017 to 8.00 a.m. on January 1, 2018.
"An initial analysis of figures shows that the turn of the year was manageable," said Liesbeth Huyzer, member of the national police board, in a police press release. "In the run-up to New Year's Eve, the police put a lot of efforts into combating the trade in illegal fireworks and, as in previous years, a lot of police were deployed during the turn of the year. The weather undoubtedly also played a role."
The number of violent incidents against police and employees with a public task also decreased, both physical and verbal violence, the police stated. For now nine violent attacks against agents have been recorded this year, compared to 50 last year.
Verbal violence decreased by 74 percent, from 69 incidents in 2016/2017 to 18 this year. The number of incidents against employees with a public task, such as firefighters, ambulance personnel and security officers dropped from 14 to 8.
"I am pleased with this apparent decline, but every incident is one too much," said Huyzer. "Emergency services do everything possible to ensure that the turn of the year is festive and above all safe. Our people commit themselves with soul and happiness and at the end of the night they just want to go home unharmed."
The turn of the year in the city of The Hague also went by without major incidents. In the region The Hague 98 arrests were made. At the Kaapseplein square police officers were attacked with fireworks and a camera man of TV station RTL was hit by fireworks.
"Unacceptable," said The Hague mayor Pauline Krikke in a press release. "I thank all police aid workers, fire brigade, ambulance, hospitals and all other services for their good work. It is of course great that there were no major incidents and that the turn of the year was a party for most people in The Hague. But every incident is one too many."
Approximately 15,000 people visited the National countdown moment, the fireworks show at the Hofvijver in The Hague. The show was in doubt due to the heavy wind, but the mayor ultimately gave the green light. Some other fireworks shows were canceled.
The New Year's Eve in the Dutch capital Amsterdam also didn't have major incidents, the municipality announced in a statement. The number of fire brigade and ambulance trips was slightly lower than last year. Over 9,000 people attended a fireworks show in Amsterdam East.
In total, the Amsterdam police arrested 43 people, mostly for throwing heavy fireworks, expressing threats and violence. In the Rotterdam region, 90 arrests were made for similar incidents.