Anderlecht street violence drives school away
A Francophone industrial polytechnic is moving most of its classes from the campus in Anderlecht to a campus in Brussels.
Some 250 industrial engineering students attend the school. The reason for moving most classes is because the campus in Anderlecht has become too dangerous.
The students of the Institute Supérieur Industriel de Bruxelles in the Grondelstraat in Anderlecht (part of Greater Brussels) have had trouble in the neighbourhood where the school is located since the beginning of December. The students are often hassled on the streets and the general crime rate in the area is increasing.
According to the daily De Standaard the students have been confronted with muggings, extortion, and bullying. The problems are reportedly caused by a gang of about eight or ten16-year-olds. The adolescent thugs often threaten the students by putting a knife to their neck. In some cases the confrontation has come to blows and some students have been stabbed. The delinquents force students to hand over mobile phones, iPods, and money.
The authorities are investigating the gang and the numerous recent incidents. In the meantime, the school has decided to move as many classes as possible to another campus in the centre of Brussels.