Local news channel, Omroep Brabant, has learned that several local councils have requested help from security companies on New Year’s Eve. However, these companies express doubt about whether they should step into help.
The councils ask security guards to ensure people abide by coronavirus regulations and observe the ban on fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Amongst the councils known to Omroep Brabant are Breda, Uden, Geldrop-Mierlo, Steenbergen and Waalre. There could be more, as not all councils have made their plans known to the press.
‘A mess in the streets’
Jurgen van Bokhoven, owner of Van Bokhoven Security in Drunen, is one of the security workers who informed Omroep Brabant that ‘several councils’ have called to request his services.
However, van Bokhoven says that he doubts whether to agree to the councils’ requests. ‘I have serious doubts as to whether we should do this,’ he says. ‘There are many risks involved in this job, because there is bound to be a big mess in the streets on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know whether I should put my staff through that,’ he continues.
Van Bokhoven explains that ‘the atmosphere is really different this year’. Aggressive incidents, he says, usually happen at events and at establishments like bars. But now, as events, bars and indeed most public spaces are closed, ‘aggression happens everywhere’. As people become tired of the second wave of coronavirus infections, ‘people are becoming more and more aggressive. New Year’s Eve is an outlet for them’.
On the other hand, with nearly all public events cancelled, the pandemic has hit the security sector hard. Van Bokhoven says that many security companies have therefore accepted the councils’ requests. ‘There will be some who do respond [to the requests] and I understand that very well because our entire sector has had a hard time without catering and events’.
In addition to the request for security guards, the police already announced that they will prepare extra police officers and law enforcement officers for New Year’s Eve.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translation: Rachael Vickerman