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Over 1,000 armed robberies in Belgium

Published on 17/05/2005

17 May 2005

BRUSSELS – The latest crime figures show Belgium was hit by 1,055 armed robberies within a year.

On Tuesday, the news agency Belga reported that the country recorded 2,539 firearms incidents in 2000.

The figures were given by Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx in response to a parliamentary question from Spirit member Stijn Bex.

According to Onkelinx, the police were involved in between 100 to 200 fire arms incidents.

Armed robberies were the most reported type of gun crime – and of the 1,055 committed in 2000, 175 were car or homejackings.

In the same year, police recorded 440 threats made with a firearm, 107 murders, 105 injuries, 10 kidnappings, nine sexual assaults, 66 cases of fraud, 100 cases of handling stolen goods, 228 cases of arson or deliberate damage and 23 crimes linked to drugs.

In 1999, Onkelinx said the police were involved in 99 cases where gun shots were fired. That figure rose to 107 cases in 2000 and then to 132 in 2001.

Although it dipped in 2002 to 88, the number of incidents soared to 193 in 2003.

In that year, of all the shots fired by police, 58 were fired at a vehicle; 32 were fired with the aim of dissuading, but not harming, a suspect; 22 were accidental; 16 were designed to injure a threatening person; 18 were shots fired at animals; 12 were warning shots; and four were shots by police officers committing suicide using their force firearm.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news