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Police ‘ill-mannered’ prior to remembrance

8 May 2007 - Prior to the 4 May remembrance of those who died during the Second World War, the police in Geuzenveld told business owners in an ‘ill-mannered way’ to close their shops, according to the local VVD, which asked the district for an explanation. The district is investigating what exactly has happened.

The Turkish owner of an evening shop approached Michèl Tromp, VVD party leader, to complain about how he was told an hour in advance to close his shop for an hour and a half.

“Reportedly, the police behaved in an authoritarian, ill-mannered way and did not appreciate the problems and challenges the business owners were suddenly facing”, said Tromp. The police would have responded curtly to questions.

According to the business owner, his son, who has a sandwich bar, as well as another owner of an evening shop were treated in the same way.

The business owner would not object to closing his shop as such. “He said, of course I want to show respect to those who have fallen for our freedom”, said Tromp. Tromp himself also finds that it is ‘fitting’ to ask business owners to close their shops during the remembrance. “If that is too much to ask, then what is this country coming to?”

However, he finds that the business owners should have been notified in advance. There would be about twenty businesses with an evening permit, including some evening shops, restaurants and snack bars.

Also, the forced closure could be limited to half an hour, from 7.45 to 8.15 pm, as far as Tromp is concerned. The remembrance is at 8 pm. Tromp has asked the district among other things whether business owners will be paid damages.

The district is still investigating exactly what has happened, said spokesperson Margot Blom. In any case, the municipality advertised in free newspapers de Echo and het Stadsblad that shops had to close at 7 pm.

UPDATE 9 May 2007 - Geuzenveld District indicated that the police acted not at the request of the District, but on the basis of the Shops Opening Hours Act, which states that shops must close after 7 pm on 4 May.


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