Relative calm returns to Dutch cities after riots

After days of clashes with Dutch police, there were a few isolated incidents of protest violence in the Netherlands on Tuesday night.

Video uploaded to social media showed an explosion in Hilversum on Tuesday, and protesters running from police.

Dutch police tweeted shortly after the video was filmed that the town was quiet.

Earlier in the day, shops were boarded up and police were out in force with greater powers to respond to any rioting.

The recent protests were sparked by the imposition of a new night-time curfew on Saturday aimed at combatting the spread of coronavirus.

Since then, at least 500 people have been arrested in anti-lockdown riots.

When the 9pm order came into effect on Tuesday, there were a few rowdy crowds out in several cities including Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

But police were able to break them up without incident and just 33 people had to be detained.

Tuesday's events were in stark contrast to the previous night when there was widespread looting and police clashed with demonstrators.

Rioters tried to attack hospitals in several cities, vehicles were set on fire and demonstrators set-up barricades.

The National Police chief Willem Woelders said that one night of calm did not mean they could let their guard down.

Law enforcement issued a nationwide appeal to parents to keep teenagers indoors, warning they could end up with a criminal record.

The Netherlands' first curfew since World War Two was imposed despite weeks of falling COVID-19 infections.

Authorities are worried about the fast-spreading UK variant of the disease which has been found in a third of new Dutch cases.

Schools and non-essential shops across the Netherlands have been shut since mid-December.

Bars and restaurants were closed two months earlier.