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Crime slumps in north Brussels

Published on 10/12/2004

10 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Crime levels in Brussels’ northern communes appear to be falling, it emerged on Friday.

The police have been getting tough on criminals in Schaerbeek, Evere and Saint-Josse in a bid to rid the communes of their rough reputations.

The latest crime figures suggest the strategy is bearing fruit, with between 18 and 35 percent fewer crimes reported this year compared to last.

Bike thefts are down by almost 35 percent and car thefts by 25 percent. House burglaries have fallen by a quarter, too, and bag snatches by 35 percent.

However, reporting the story, the French language daily La Derniere Heure said pickpocketing had shot up by 28 percent.

The paper suggested criminals were changing their tactics in relation to police priorities, going for easier targets like markets.

Nor have the police reduced the number of murders in the north of Brussels.

Since January, 25 people have died including six killed in August and five in March.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news