Riots between youths of Moroccan and Moluccan background, January 9, 2010

Behavioural scientist Otto Adang sees the riots as simply a typical example of what is known in the field as 'young male syndrome' during New Year’s Eve celebrations. A lecturer in public order and control at the police academy in Apeldoorn, he points out there were 2,500 incidents reported to the police, and 940 people were arrested during this year’s New Year’s Eve festivities. It’s traditionally a time when people party with friends or fight with enemies.

“It’s all about prestige,” he said in an interview. “That’s why they play this cat-and-mouse game with the riot police. Wherever the riot police appears, groups of youngsters materialise till the fighting begins again. They keep looking at each other to see what the reaction is to their attacks. It isn’t blind aggression. They choose to get involved.”

See complete article at NRC International