Under et krisemøte mellom kommunale myndigheter og politi ble det mandag bestemt at man fra nå av ikke vil tolerere vold i Brussel-forstaden Anderlecht. Ungdom med arabisk og nordafrikansk bakgrunn har skutt mot politiet og ranet høyskoleungdom. Skolen har måttet flytte.

A zero-tolerance policy will be implemented in several Brussels problem neighborhoods. Thus was decided during a meeting of the Brussels prosecutor Bruno Bulthé, the Anderlecht mayor Gaëtan Van Goidsenhoven (MR) and the head of the Brussels South police department. The Internal Affairs and Justice ministries also participated in the discussion, the Brussels public prosecution reported today.

After a number of violent incidents, including several shooting incidents in which agents were targeted, and the attacks on the students of the Institut Supérieur Industriel de Bruxelles, the police and justice department decided to introduce a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in Anderlecht.

The intention is to act hard against any form of violence, and that any crime would be dealt with. It’s possible extra magistrates would be called in to be able to act quickly in the neighborhoods being targeted.

«So called no-go-zones are not accepted,» says prosecution spokesperson Jos Colpin. «In the neighborhoods concerned, zero tolerance will be employed, and the structures of the prosecution and the police would be adapted and where necessary reinforced.»

François Debats, director of the Institut Supérieur Industriel de Bruxelles, is satisfied with the decision. The director moved his 1st and 2nd year students to the Koningstraat campus last week, after various students were attacked by criminal youth in the area of the Anderlecht Grondelstraat. They were forced via verbal aggression or knife threats to hand over valuable items such as a cell-phone or mp3-player.

«The decision reassured me,» says Debats. «Everybody clearly told me that they’re aware of the problem and I’ve also felt manifest will to deal with the issue. I don’t blame the police of Anderlecht for anything because I know that they put in effort 100%. Whatever new regulation will now coem, I don’t know, but I have confidence in the fiture.»

The director is considering to return to the Grondelstraat campus after the winter’s vacation.

Earlier the police unions said they were planning to strike, after a police agent was seriously injured trying to stop a getaway car following a robbery. This is the third time police were shot at in the past few weeks. The VSOA union wrote in a press release: street gangs who sow terror undistrubed, offernder who are immediately freed, police agents who become victims of weapon-violence. These are the sad charachteristics of a region where gangsterism, violnce and lack of law seem to have the upper hand over public order.

Brussels: Zero-tolerance against violence