Safety doubts raised in wake of station murder

14th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 April 2006, BRUSSELS - Federal and local police joined forces with Sécurail and NMBS-SNCB staff at Brussels Central Station on Thursday between 4-5pm to find witnesses to the brutal murder of a 17-year-old boy the day before.The boy was waiting with a friend for another friend's train at Brussels Central, when two other youths approached them in the ticket hall and attempted to snatch the victim's mp3 player at about 4.30pm. The boy was stabbed in the cardiac region when he refused to hand over the

14 April 2006

BRUSSELS - Federal and local police joined forces with Sécurail and NMBS-SNCB staff at Brussels Central Station on Thursday between 4-5pm to find witnesses to the brutal murder of a 17-year-old boy the day before.

The boy was waiting with a friend for another friend's train at Brussels Central, when two other youths approached them in the ticket hall and attempted to snatch the victim's mp3 player at about 4.30pm.

The boy was stabbed in the cardiac region when he refused to hand over the mp3 and died later in hospital. 

With parts of the station cordoned off on Thursday, police sought witnesses to the attack, conducting the operation around the same time that the boy was stabbed on Wednesday.
 
The fact that the two attackers could disappear so easily after such a violent assault has since raised the question of safety in Belgium's train stations.

But Belgian rail NMBS-SNCB sought to play down the incident.
 
"Some 140,000 people use Central Station every day," spokesman Leen Uyterhoeven said. "If you compare this flow of people with the number of recorded crimes, this station can be regarded as very safe."
 
The rail operator's Sécurail agents are responsible for safety, both on trains and in the stations. Ten agents are on permanent patrol in stations and on services such as Brussels-Luxembourg.

"These agents act as a deterrent and prevention service," Sécurail boss Hendrick Vanderkimpen said. "They are proactive and will only intervene if necessary."

In the event of criminal acts, the Sécurail agents are permitted to detain the culprits while waiting for the arrival of police, who take official responsibility for arrests.

"Our management contract obliges us to work as efficiently as possible with other safety operatives to provide the safest-possible travel experience," Vanderkimpen said. "But we cannot always be in the right place at the right time."

Police have launched an official appeal for witnesses and hope to use surveillance camera footage to identify the perpetrators.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
 
Subject: Belgian news

 

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