Rotterdam bans free dance parties for two years

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Following the dance party at Hook of Holland which left one dead and six injured, Rotterdam mayor has banned free large-scale dance parties.

Rotterdam – The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, has banned free large-scale dance parties in his city for the next two years.

The decision was prompted by the violence at a dance party at the Sunset Grooves beach in Hook of Holland on Saturday, during which guns were drawn and a 19-year-old man was shot dead.

Out of six others who were injured, three remain hospitalised.

It is not known whether this decision will also apply to events already scheduled to take place.

In a letter to the city council, Aboutaleb said there were around 12 separate shooting incidents at the event.

While it remains unclear how the fighting started and who the gunmen were, sources within the police force suggested the police themselves may have been the only ones firing guns at the party.

A film clip on Youtube shows four men drawing weapons. Witnesses claimed they were plain-clothes policemen who felt threatened when their identities were exposed by a large group of partygoers including football hooligans. They allegedly fired shots into the air first and aimed at specific people.
A spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office said the ongoing investigation will take into account this version of the story but does not rule out other evidence that suggests other people may have fired first.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the police union ACP, Gerrit van de Camp, has called for an investigation into whether the organisers did enough to prevent the violence.

He added some officers estimated the crowd to be between 40,000 and 50,000 people present, while the permit was for 25,000.
Both the police and the organisers knew that football hooligans were planning to go to the party. The organisers say they could do nothing since it was a free event.

Mo more large-scale beach parties at Hook of Holland

The chairman of the local council, Paddy Roomer, has announced in a radio interview that Hook of Holland will not be issuing permits for any more large-scale beach parties. "I have to take responsibility and say: this will never happen again."

Aboutaleb also announced an investigation into the increasing violence at music events and football matches.

Speaking at a press conference, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said it was "a shocking incident with a tragic outcome" while socialist party MP Ronald van Raak commented: "Alcohol makes people aggressive and then there's no reasoning with them."

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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