Police union slams 'light' riot sentences
3 June 2005, AMSTERDAM — The police union ACP has slammed the "mild" sentences a magistrate has imposed on six hooligans involved in riots at a Rotterdam football match in April.
3 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — The police union ACP has slammed the "mild" sentences a magistrate has imposed on six hooligans involved in riots at a Rotterdam football match in April.
"This ruling is a slap in the face of police and is an invitation for [the defendants] to do it again," ACP head Gerrit van der Kamp on Friday.
Rioting broke out before and after the Feyenoord-Ajax football clash on 17 April. Some 40 police officers were injured and dozens of arrests were carried out.
Police have since published the photos of unidentified suspects on television and the internet in a bid to arrest the main culprits
The six defendants sentenced in Rotterdam on Thursday were jailed for four to eight months, but a large amount of the sentences were suspended.
It means the suspects will be freed from jail within several days. Three of them have been in remand since the day of the riots.
The court also imposed a community work order, a probationary period of two years and a stadium ban for one year on the defendants.
The stadium ban means the five Feyenoord fans will need to report to police whenever the club plays, whether it is a home, away or international match. The sixth defendant, an Ajax fan, must do the same when Ajax plays.
The prosecutor demanded jail terms of up to eight months, but was not disappointed by the sentences imposed. The prosecutor said the prevention measure was sufficient and if the offenders recommitted crimes, the penalty would be severe.
In the court ruling on Thursday, the magistrate also praised police professionalism, stressing that cool heads prevented a more serious riot.
However, union boss Van de Kamp pointed out on Friday that several dozen police officers were injured in the rioting, some of whom suffered broken bones.
He said the sentences imposed on the defendants were out of proportion with the crimes committed. "If this becomes the trend, we will have a big problem," he said, adding that politicians must sharpen sentencing laws for rioters.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news