Neighbourhood associations demand solution to drug violence in Brussels

Nearly 40 neighbourhood associations and neighbourhood committees in Brussels ​ have requested an immediate solution to drug violence in an open letter. They accuse local, regional and federal politicians of political procrastination on the issue.

"Not a day goes by in Brussels without a shooting," said Eric Vandezande of the Yser-Sainctelette neighbourhood committee. The open letter is mainly addressed to minister president Rudi Vervoort, of francophone socialist party PS, who will convene the Regional Security Council on Tuesday to discuss the recent shootings.

Vervoort and Sophie Lavaux, te managing director of, the capital region's security body, will be present.

The neighbourhood associations have noted a worsening of the problem in Brussels over the last six months, with two new shootings in February alone. "Drug trafficking in certain Brussels neighbourhoods continues and worsens," they say. The deaths and injuries from recent shootings have implicated not only drug gang members but, occasionally, ordinary civilians.

"It points to a real disconnect with the expectations of the Brussels population"

According to the associations, political parties are pointing fingers at each other instead of looking for a solution. "For us ordinary citizens, this procrastination by politicians based on the motto 'It's not me, it's the other person' is discouraging, and it points to a real disconnect with the expectations of the Brussels population," the letter reads.

In addition, they accuse the Brussels government of waiting too long before taking action.


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