New Year’s Eve Carnage: What really happened across Europe?
New Year celebrations in cities across western and northern Europe were marred by a series of high profile attacks, as well as arson and unrest, conducted mainly by gangs of youths in immigrant heavy neighbourhoods.
Intelligence Fusion have provided an overview of the incidents that we reported in each country to offer a complete and accurate representation of the carnage that unfolded across Europe on New Year’s Eve.
A series of firework attacks on police and emergency services occurred over the weekend and up to and including New Years Eve in Kristianstad. The majority of unrest was recorded in Gothenburg with at least 17 arson attacks conducted against vehicles, schools and large container bins mainly concentrated in the north eastern suburbs.
A man confronting youths in Bergåsvägen was seriously injured after a firework was deliberately fired into his face. On 30th December youths also set off fireworks inside a tram on Hisingen alarming passengers and interrupting operations.
Stockholm and Malmö remained relatively calm with few major incidents particularly due to a heavy police and security footprint in both cities after the chaos of previous years.
Youth gangs clashing temporarily closed Stockholm Rågved metro station and shots were fired at Mahmood Mosque during early morning prayers in Malmö. The motive or perpetrator is currently unknown.
In Copenhagen, firefighters and police were ambushed and attacked with fireworks on three separate occasions in Nordvest district. In Korsør, youths also fired rockets at passing cars and pedestrians as well as rival gangs.
In the United Kingdom, there were shots fired in Belfast at an apartment.
Three people were also stabbed in a likely terrorist attack at Victoria Station, Manchester.
A 14 year old girl was raped in Burnley town centre at 9am on New Year’s Day. However, the majority of incidents occurred in London, where two stabbings were reported in Blackheath and Hammersmith.
A woman was shot and injured in Dalston as well as the murder of a security guard in Park Lane as he attempted to prevent gatecrashers getting into an event. A woman was also found murdered at an apartment in Camberwell.
In Amsterdam 25 vehicles were torched across the city which was roughly similar to incident numbers last year, however container bin fires escalated over 50 percent from 67 to 158.
Police and emergency services were also ambushed with fireworks responding to arson attacks in cities such as Veenendaal, Assen and Groningen.
Police officers were forced to shoot at a driver who aimed his vehicle at officers in Rotterdam. Several vehicles were also torched in Utrecht.
Dutch police stated the total number of NYE violence directed at police nationwide was 59 incidents; over double from last years total of 27.
In Brussels unrest was recorded in Molenbeek with at least seven cars torched and police and emergency services attacked with fireworks and stones. Four police vehicles and two fire engines were damaged. Four police officers were slightly injured.
Forty people were arrested in Anderlecht for disrupting public order including arson attacks on cars and other objects. A young man was also stabbed and killed in Schaerbeek.
In France, where the torching of vehicles on NYE has been described by media as an “annual tradition” arson attacks and unrest were recorded across the county. In the Paris area alone, over 150 vehicles were torched in Yvelines and Saint Denis. Police officers in Trappes were also compelled to fire their weapons to prevent an attack on officers who were attempting to prevent a rape and apprehend the perpetrator when confronted by a crowd of around 30 people.
Major urban centres such as Lyon and Marseilles were affected by unrest with 50 and over 20 cars torched in each city respectively. Unrest was reported in Toulouse with over 30 cars torched as well as arson attacks reported in Brest, Amiens, Reims, Limoges, Lormont, Bordeaux. Intelligence Fusion recorded over 300 vehicles being set on fire on NYE in France.
Isolated shootings and arson attacks on property such as a Halal butchers and a cultural centre in Nantes were reported although the perpetrators have not yet been identified. Also a 49 year old man assaulted an 11 year old, before attempting to abduct a 12 year old boy in Thollon-les-Memises.
In Berlin, large groups of youths fired rockets at passing cars in Schöneberg as well as attacking police with rockets in Prenzlauer Berg. Up to 60 youths attacked police and emergency workers with fireworks injuring eight police officers.
A homemade firecracker detonation also damaged a building and multiple cars in Neukölln. The Berlin Fire Department reported a total of 49 attacks on workers during the NYE period with 33 incidents being related to pyrotechnics.
In the Barmbek area of Hamburg, firefighters were attacked in their vehicle by a mob of people at a local shisha bar after coming to the aid of a man who had been stabbed. In Binnenalster, nine sexual offences were reported.
In Leipzig a branch office of the Federal Court of Justice was set on fire, and a pizzeria was set on fire due to an ‘explosion’, likely a firework. In Bottrop, a man drove a car at pedestrians. The driver, a German aged 50, injured four people, including a Syrian and an Afghan national.
In Dortmund, 20 masked people spray painted a train, before throwing shopping trolleys in its path. In Frankfurt, a man was thrown in front of a moving train, however, the train managed to stop in time.
Across Germany, fireworks and pyrotechnics caused significant issues, including numerous injuries and causing fires which damaged property.
Businesses and organisations should be aware that New Year’s Eve celebrations in Europe are now characterised by mass lawlessness and a pose a significant threat to civilians, emergency and security forces, especially in major urban centres. It is likely that unless a more muscular policing is introduced, unrest and violence over the NYE period in future years will only continue and spread throughout western Europe.
As witnessed in Sweden, Germany and France local gangs of youths and organised criminals have become increasingly aggressive in certain urban areas attempting to restrict freedom of movement for police and emergency services in their localities. It should be noted, this is not just during the NYE period, but is a consistent trend across northern Europe.
Criminal groups and gangs appear to be increasing in confidence and operating with a degree freedom of movement in certain localities. By concentrating on community engagement, many police forces hope to combat criminality amongst certain segments of immigrant communities.
Overall, this is likely to be ineffective unless combined with a muscular policing policy, increased numbers of police officers and a high posture and profile on the streets.
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