Police Are Preparing For New Year’s Eve: ‘Fireworks Are Getting More And More Powerful’

Sarhan Basem
Credit: Ilse Van de keere

A temporary fireworks ban may not be enough to give the police a quiet evening. How do the police anticipate the crowds in the center, vandalism and possible conflicts and arrests? Three questions to Ilse Van de Keere, spokeswoman for the police zone who will head the command center on New Year’s Eve.

The Police Enforce The Fireworks Ban. What Else do The Police do on New Year’s Eve?

We will carry out checks at the entrances to Place des Palais – where the public fireworks are likely to be seen. We recommend leaving backpacks at home. We confiscate fireworks or glass objects. We may also hand out fines to those who do not comply with the rules. It will probably be busy in the center, so we recommend using public transport, which will be free by the way.

What is The Police Doing Against Vandalism?

In recent years, many cars have been set on fire during New Year’s Eve. In the first place, the regional crisis center will be activated. This way we can intervene quickly and efficiently. In addition, we constantly monitor via social media, our Cyber Unit is involved in this. Recently, this team tracked down an Instagram account where fireworks and explosives of the Cobra 8 type, banned in Belgium, were sold. During the search, a large amount of fireworks were found and seized.

In previous years, the police were sometimes pelted with fireworks. Do you expect the same this year?

That is something we certainly take into account. Although I want to emphasize that the phenomenon is not new. But the things that are thrown are stronger. This is also because people can order all kinds of things from their lazy seat that are prohibited here, such as that Cobra 8. Our staff has been briefed about this, we take it into account.

Incidentally, it is not the local police officer who will enter the field, but people who are specialized in the management of public space (the former ‘law enforcement’). In the meantime, all our other work continues as well. The patrols, including the commissariats, are open 24/7. A serious part of our people are deployed there.

This article is originally published on bruzz.be.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.