Brussels identifies 15 priority neighbourhoods in fight against drug crime

The Brussels Regional Security Council has defined 15 hotspots where authorities will focus their efforts to tackle drug crime, minister president Rudi Vervoort’s office announced on Thursday night.

Earlier this month, Vervoort said he would take responsibility for coordinating measures to combat drug-related violence in the region. There will also be a regional security cell headed by Sophie Lavaux, the director of security agency, to ensure that local task forces implement and comply with the regional strategy. 

One of the measures previously announced was the identification of priority areas to be tackled. These have now been determined by police forces and approved by mayors. There are 15: Chaussée d’Anvers, Matongé, Yser, Querelle, Versailles, Porte de Hal, Clémenceau, Peterbos, Saint-Antoine, Gare du Midi, Gare du Nord, Etangs Noirs, Ribaucourt, Bonnevie and Colonne.

ID checks and searches

“The intention is to carry out actions at these locations based on three pillars, namely security, prevention and neighbourhood life,” Vervoort's office said in a statement. 

The Security Council also approved measures to support the work of the six police zones. These apply to the entire Brussels region and relate to fireworks and laughing gas. Within the 15 hotspots, there will be a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol, permission to systematically carry out identity checks, possibly with searches, and the possibility to confiscate dangerous items or items that encourage drug use.


Brussels region minister president Rudi Vervoort and director Sophie Lavaux at a press conference following a meeting to discuss drug-related crime, 27 February 2024 © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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