Fewer violent thefts on Brussels metro
23 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The number of violent thefts and physical aggression on the Brussels metro system sharply declined in 2004.
23 May 2006
BRUSSELS — The number of violent thefts and physical aggression on the Brussels metro system sharply declined in 2004.
The number of violent thefts fell from 994 in 2003 to 620 in 2004, a decline of 37 percent.
The number of physical assaults fell from 313 in 2003 to 263 in 2004, a decline of 16 percent.
Figures from Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx also indicated that the number of sexual assaults fell from 48 in 2002 to 37 in 2003 and 32 in 2004.
Authorities have also witnessed a decline in other crimes, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Monday.
Some 285 drugs crimes were reported in 2003 compared with 245 in 2004 (a decline of 14 percent). Graffiti and vandalism crimes fell by 50 percent over two years, from 1,200 in 2002 to 600 in 2004.
The total number of fines or court summons issued fell from 4,287 in 2003 to 3,722 in 2004, a decline of 13 percent.
But Liberal VLD MP Guido De Padt, who requested the figures from Minister Onkelinx, said there is no reason for euphoria.
He said there was an increase in baggage thefts in 2004, rising to 1,108 compared with 900 in 2003, an increase of 23.1 percent.
The number of cases involving illegal weapon possession remained stable: 135 cases in 2003 and 134 in 2004.
"Although we can notice a declining tendency in most of these figures, we may not claim victory too early," De Padt said.
"The criminality figures remain relatively high for a city such as Brussels, which does not have a big metro network such as cities like Paris or London."
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news