Netherlands braces itself for New Year's celebrations

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The Netherlands is bracing itself for the New Year's celebrations, as the festivities have been known to get out of hand in the past.

Postal company TNT has removed around 4000 letterboxes which are at risk of being blown up by fireworks. The letterboxes will be put back after 2 January.

Around 10,000 car park ticket machines have been given a protective cover in the Netherlands’ four largest cities. Parking is free of charge during New Year's night in these cities.

Rubbish bins in vulnerable locations in The Hague and Rotterdam have also been removed. Recycling bins for paper and clothes will also be closed off during the New Year's celebrations. In Rotterdam, public transport will not be running in the hours around midnight.

The City of Utrecht has announced on its website which measures it will be taking against trouble makers. Stealing a traffic sign will cost vandals 100 euros, blowing up a rubbish bin is 550 euros. Vandalising underground rubbish containers will lead to a fine of 5000 euros. In Amsterdam, the city council has taken steps to protect rubbish bins and other street objects during New Year's night.

A safety campaign to prevent accidents with fireworks shows old age pensioners from a television series called 'Benidorm Bastards' messing around with fireworks. The films aimed at warning young people about fireworks are on Facebook and Youtube. Last year, 4000 people were treated in hospital after accidents with fireworks. The sale of fireworks begins on Wednesday.

Rotterdam and The Hague have banned notorious trouble-makers from certain areas of the city. Amsterdam and Utrecht will dish out swift justice to anyone caught disturbing the peace in special court sessions.


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