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New Year's Eve leads to destruction in various cities and once again the transport sector pays the price.

Transport companies are faced with persistent costs due to vandalism. The deliberate destruction of public property, such as bus shelters and rubbish bins at stops, is a recurring problem. Especially during New Year's Eve and the following days, travelers experience the consequences such as a lot of broken glass and no shelter from the weather elements. The financial burden of repairing this destruction is significant for transport companies.

An incident took place in Amersfoort on Sunday evening, December 31, 2023, in which three boys were arrested. These young people are suspected of destroying bus shelters with heavy fireworks. This incident is part of a broader trend of vandalism on public transport, especially during the holidays. The bus stop on Artoislaan in Eindhoven was also not spared from vandalism during New Year's Eve.

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Photo: © Pitane Blue - vandalism Artoislaan Eindhoven

When someone is arrested for public violence against property, such as demolishing a bus shelter, there are various legal steps that follow. In the Netherlands, less serious forms of vandalism, such as this, can sometimes be referred to Halt.

Halt focuses on young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who commit minor criminal offences. The aim is to make them take responsibility for their actions and prevent recurrence. To qualify for Halt, certain criteria must be met. One of these criteria is that the damage per person may not exceed €900 and the total damage must not exceed €4500. In addition, the damage must be compensated.

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If a suspect does not meet the criteria for Halt, or is older than 18 years, a report will be drawn up. This report will be forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service. The Public Prosecution Service then determines what next steps will be taken. This can vary from a fine or community service to legal proceedings.

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Photo: Pitane Blue - vandalism Artoislaan Eindhoven

The damage caused by vandalism, such as the destruction of bus shelters and mailboxes, results in significant costs for both private companies and indirectly for the average citizen. Although the exact costs are often not publicly released by the companies involved, research shows that replacing an entire bus shelter can cost more than $4000. A single damaged window can cost around €300.

These financial burdens are often ultimately passed on to consumers, either directly through higher rates for services, or indirectly through increased municipal levies or taxes. This emphasizes the broader social impact of vandalism. The actions of a small group can have major financial consequences for society as a whole.

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