Rising Crime Challenges Halle-Vilvoorde Authorities

Sarhan Basem

Halle (Brussels Morning) – Rising crime in Halle-Vilvoorde near Brussels includes drug smuggling and financial crimes. Criminals relocate from the capital posing challenges for law enforcement. Collaboration with local police is crucial amid limited resources.

The municipalities around Brussels particularly in the Halle-Vilvoorde district have seen a rise in crime according to data from the Federal Judicial Police Halle-Vilvoorde. In 2023 crime figures were notably higher compared to municipalities farther away from the capital. This trend indicates a growing challenge for local authorities in addressing crime and maintaining public safety in these areas. Factors contributing to this trend could include urbanization socio-economic factors, and proximity to major transportation routes facilitating criminal activities.

Is Increased Criminal Activity Shifting from Brussels to Surrounding Areas?

Veerle De Wolf of the Federal Judicial Police Halle-Vilvoorde stated that there will be 126 new investigations initiated in 2023 which marks an increase of ten compared to the previous year when there were 115 new files. This uptick in new investigations suggests a growing workload for law enforcement agencies in the region possibly reflecting either an increase in criminal activity or improved detection and enforcement efforts.

Most of the investigations were about smuggling drugs in and out (26.58%). Criminal gangs take advantage of Zaventem airport staff who have access to restricted areas. This makes it easy for drug traffickers to move drugs around. They also deal with financial investigations like undeclared work. The outskirts have lots of business centers where these organizations can operate and use illegal money to pay workers.

The bad guys don’t always live in Halle-Vilvoorde. They shift from Brussels to the surrounding areas. When we search for them, we find them in both the city and the nearby towns. They’ve basically relocated from the city to the outskirts.

How Can Law Enforcement Address Rising Crime While Managing Limited Resources?

In contrast to the capital where shootings and fights between drug gangs are more prevalent the police in the Halle-Vilvoorde district have not encountered many such incidents. According to reports in the previous year there was only one shooting incident in the district indicating a relatively lower level of violent crime compared to Brussels. This could be attributed to various factors such as demographic differences law enforcement strategies and community dynamics within the Halle-Vilvoorde district. Even one incident underscores the importance of maintaining vigilant policing efforts to prevent the escalation of violence in the region.

There’s a ton of crime which really affects how much we have to do. We need to figure out what’s most important for us in the future and not neglect the rest of the area. We have limited resources so we have to keep teaming up with the local police in all the different towns.

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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.