Study into New Year's eve incidents in the Netherlands, january 2008

Fights breaking out everywhere, firemen being attacked and Molotov cocktails thrown at riot police, that’s all part of New Year’s Day. Just like firework, oliebollen and ski jumping in Garmish. That is tradition, said police scientist Otto Adang. Adang is investigating incidents around New Year’s Day that were trivialized in the past years on behalf of the Police academy of the Netherlands. “Things that have become traditions cannot be changed overnight,” he said. “If you have tolerated a certain behaviour for years, you can’t go back to zero tolerance just like that. There is also not enough police manpower to enforce that. Organizing huge festivals (like those in Amsterdam and Rotterdam) is one way of giving people to party without setting things on fire or rioting, but that doesn’t always work. In the small villages along the bible belt, New Year is a night with no holds barred. That is worth closer inspection. I suspect that excessive drinking and drugs could have played a role,” said Adang. No one dares say it was a peaceful night.