Police responsible for Sunset Grooves violence: letter

3rd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Investigation claims police knew that hooligans would attend the beach party, but did not alert higher police leadership or plan to increase police presence.

Rotterdam – An investigation into the Hoek van Holland dance party incident found the police at fault for the chaos that killed one person and injured several others, reports de Telegraaf and nu.nl Thursday.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb sent a letter to the city council Wednesday evening with the investigation's conclusions.

A Rotterdam police agent – referred to as a 'general commander' by de Telegraaf – was singled out by the investigation. Additional media reports suggest measures had been taken against two agents.

The document reports the agent knew that hooligans would attend the beach party the day before the event took place, but did not alert higher police leadership or plan to increase police presence.

A total lack adequate leadership was missing at the Saturday event, but “the dedication and professionalism of the police officers who were present prevented the matter from getting further out of control," said Aboutaleb in his letter to the council.

The former police chief of Amsterdam said that the mayor and higher leadership in the Rotterdam police force should take responsibility.

“It would be scandalous if a single police agent gets all of this on his plate, and not the leadership corps and the mayor,” Eric Nordholt told de Telegraaf.

Even if the police made mistakes, the mayor and the leadership corps have ultimate responsibility, he stressed.

A 19-year old man, Robby van der Leeden, was killed in the August incident.

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