Dutch Police Arrest 27 After Third Day of Rioting in The Hague

The lockdown introduced to combat the coronavirus pandemic has begun to take its toll in the Netherlands as riots broke out in The Hague last week seeing cars destroyed and people throwing fireworks and petrol bombs.

27 people young were have been arrested and six scooters seized by police on Saturday following three consecutive nights of rioting in the Schilderswijk neighborhood of The Hague.

​Around 50 young people gathered in Vaillantlaan in spite of an emergency order introduced by City Mayor Jan van Zanen on Friday, which saw some arrested after refusing to follow police instructions.

Those who were arrested have been accused of rioting, public assault, threatening behavior, and violating the emergency order put in place to stop the unrest escalating.

The Hague's Mayor said some of those involved were local residents but most came from other parts of the city or outside of it.

The area has been the site of previous riots and is one of the poorest neighborhoods and has a large population of migrants.

Reports have claimed that the riots were caused by water authorities to block children from opening fire hydrants to help cool off during last week's heatwave.

The Hague youth ambassador Aad van Loenen said that residents often become the victim of racial profiling, telling Dutch broadcaster NOS that "young people of color in groups of two or more people" are more often questioned by authorities and treated as suspicious meaning they "feel no longer welcome."

​Youth workers from the Schilderswijk neighborhood said that young people are feeling "bored" and "lack structure" during summer struck by the lockdown and coronavirus pandemic.

Youth worker Dean Arma said that the riots were caused initially by thrill-seeking youngsters in response to life coming to a "standstill"

"They were waiting for someone to have the guts to start", Arma told NOS, before highlighting how the rioters destroyed cars, threw fireworks, petrol bombs, and attacked officers.,

"If you close schools for months, hardly open any swimming pools and chase young people away from Scheveningen {seaside resort}, then you get this".

On Friday, the central Dutch city of Utrecht experienced similar nighttime riots in the district of Kanaleneiland, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

The Hague also saw people arrested following anti-lockdown riots breakout in July.

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