30 March 2004
BRUSSELS – The number of crimes committed in most Belgian cities fell in 2003, according to the latest figures released by the country’s interior ministry.
The figures, released on Monday night, covered various categories of crimes: car jacking, car theft, theft of belongings from cars, burglary, drug use, drug dealing, hold-ups and ‘home-jacking’.
This last category concerns crimes in which thieves assault people in their houses then rob them as opposed to burglary, which usually happens without the victim’s knowledge.
The interior ministry figures showed that for the eight categories, the number of crimes committed had fallen in most of Belgium’s big cities.
In Flanders, crime figures fell in Antwerp, Gent, Leuven and Mechelen. Wallonia, Charleroi, Liege, Namur and Mons also saw crime levels drop, as did the national capital Brussels.
An interior ministry official quoted in the Derniere Heure newspaper said the figures would encourage the government “to go further” in its fight against crime.
The figures were announced as government ministers met for a brainstorming session on law and order questions.
The talks are taking place at Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s official residence at Lambermont.
The meeting is set to address a large number of issues including organised crime, people trafficking, terrorism and drugs.
The government wants to improve the effectiveness of the country’s police service, which is still regularly hobbled by squabbling between the French and Dutch-speaking communities.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news