They registered over 9 300 incidents of arson, vandalism and attacks on emergency service workers during the New Year festivities, according to official figures published last week.
The total is up some 380 on 2018. Despite the increase in violence, the number of arrests were lower to 300. Five years ago there were twice as many arrests as in 2019.
During the 2014/15 New Year festivities there were 12 000 incidents registered and some 640 people were taken into custody. Despite this decline in incidents noted in the official statistics, police complain that the real situation is very different. They say violence is increasing in intensity.
Police chief Erik Akerboom last week renewed his calls for a ban on larger consumer fireworks after reporting that there was a rise in the number of incidents requiring emergency service intervention this year.
Akerboom said individual use of fireworks to be replaced by large, organised firework displays and he called for heavier sentences for people who attack first responders such as the police, fire brigade and ambulance workers.