Dutch initiative: Game to stop violence and increase respect towards emergency responders

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3 January, 2014

The Dutch foundation ‘Help for Responders’ has submitted a project initiative to the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, which aims to stop violence and increase respect towards rescuers and responders such as fire fighters, police officers and ambulance staff, especially amongst youth. During New Years Eve, numerous incidents occurred in which onlookers – especially youth – harassed responders. Special forces had to escort fire fighters, police had to support ambulance personnel and police officers themselves were pelted with fire works.

One of the aspects of the project the foundation wants to launch in order to change such behaviour is an interactive game, through which youth can put themselves in the responders’ shoes. This should help to prevent such behaviour, instead of punishing the wrongdoer after the damage is already done. Details about the project, and thus the game, were not yet released. However, it is an interesting idea to use ‘modern’ means to change the behaviour of a larger group of people. Whether it will be successful, remains to be seen.

Source: Metro (Dutch)

Jonathan Toornstra

Legal Consultant

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