Calm night in Utrecht, 19 arrests

15th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The Utrecht neighbourhood of Ondiep was closed off once again on Wednesday evening. Police set up gates on the entry roads to the area between 5 and 6 p.m. last night.

15 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – The Utrecht neighbourhood of Ondiep was closed off once again on Wednesday evening. Police set up gates on the entry roads to the area between 5 and 6 p.m. last night.

There were no disturbances in or around Ondiep. Police nevertheless arrested 19 people in and around the neighbourhood for insulting police officers and destroying property, a spokesperson said this morning.

The police said it was a "relatively calm evening" compared to Tuesday.

The gates will remain in place until after the silent march tonight for the man shot on Sunday. There will be a great number of police on hand to keep order during the procession tonight, which is planned for 7 p.m.

Several dozen people did gather last night at the place where riots took place on Tuesday. The riot police unit was on guard and checked everyone leaving and entering the neighbourhood, as they had done on Tuesday.

Utrecht took note of how riots had been dealt with in the Graafsewijk area in Den Bosch, said mayor Annie Brouwer-Korf and the police. The police had blocked off the Den Bosch neighbourhood in December 2000 and April 2005 in order to prevent escalation of tensions.

"The most important thing learned from those incidents was that you had close off the area immediately. So that's what we did," said police chief S. Heijsman. The police also installed cctv surveillance in Ondiep.

The closed meeting between the mayor, police and local residents went smoothly. Some 40 people showed up to discuss the events of the past days. A moment of silence was observed for the man shot by police on Sunday.

Police arrested 135 people on Tuesday. Six of them will appear in court today. The other 129 have been fined.

One the six still in custody is suspected of attempted manslaughter. He drove his car into a group of riot police.

Three of the others were taken in for throwing stones, and the other two are suspected of threatening and stirring up the crowd.

The supporters associations of football clubs FC Utrecht, Feyenoord and Ajax were outraged at the disturbances in the centre of Utrecht. Police figures show however that only 12 of those arrested belonged to the football clubs.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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