André Vonk, spokesman for the fair, is disappointed by the incident: ‘The atmosphere is great. We already have more than 45,000 visitors, mainly families. Because of this unprecedented turnout, we have increased security, such as bag check, since Monday morning, ‘says Vonk.
Yet around 8 p.m. commotion arises when a fairground security guard sees someone walking around the fair with a firearm. When officers arrive on the scene, they follow the group of young people. Since there is a potential firearm, the officers will arrest the group with the gun drawn. If one of the suspects does not follow the instructions of the police, an officer fires a warning shot. Six suspects – a 15-year-old resident of The Hague and five 16-year-old boys from The Hague – were arrested. When the situation is under control, the fair can open again. The young people are no longer welcome at the fair, Vonk reports.
‘I am so grateful that we were allowed to open again. There was now a queue at the entrance and we were able to let it in. Obviously with due observance of the corona rules’, Vonk explains. He thought it was a storm in a glass of water, but understands very well that the police took it seriously. At the time of the incident, he himself was on a different part of the site. “I went there furiously.”
‘I really thought goddamn it should be,’ says fairground operator Jan Vermolen. ‘The atmosphere is just so pleasant. Fortunately it was soon as if nothing was wrong. ‘ Vermolen also sees many families on the site and points out the high visitor numbers. He does not want to dwell on it for too long. “The weather is nice and we’re going to make it a party again.”
Also incident in Alphen
The alleged firearm has not been found, the police reported. “The person with the gun may have gotten away.” The suspects have been released.
The fair in Alphen aan den Rijn closed half an hour earlier than planned. The police had received information that showed that two groups of young people were planning to fight each other. The fair therefore closed earlier in consultation with the fair organization. In the coming days, the police will be more emphatically present at the fair. Nobody has been arrested.