Schaerbeek's public drinking ban aimed at transmigrants: reports

Schaerbeek's public drinking ban aimed at transmigrants: reports
Schaerbeek banned public drinking in one district on all hours of the day.Credit: Needpix

A 24-hour ban in a Schaerbeek district was aimed at curbing disturbances to the public order caused by transmigrants, according to media reports on Friday.

Dutch-speaking outlet Bruzz found that transmigrants had been involved in a street fight that rocked the area.

The outlet said the events had motivated a decision by Schaerbeek mayor Cécile Jodogne to extend a nightly ban on public alcohol consumption, in place since July, to all hours of the day.

"With a total ban on alcohol, also during the day, peace has returned," a representative of the police zone is quoted as saying.

The ban was introduced following a law enforcement report that said excessive use of alcohol was exacerbating issues encountered by police in maintaining and restoring public order in the district, known as the Quartier Brabant.

In the image of Schaerbeek, the neighbouring municipality of Saint-Josse also introduced a nightly ban on public drinking on its part of the district.

"Regularly, there were groups of 10 to 15 men who caused a nuisance and acted aggressively towards the police under the influence of the alcohol," police spokesmen Roger De Beule told the news site.

The mayor's cabinet said that the recent transmigrant evacuations in Gare du Nord and the nearby Parc Maximilien meant that the transmigrants had progressively moved into the district.

"Because the issue of migration is not being addressed, it is shifting," head of cabinet Marc Weber said.

The ban is reportedly already yielding results after police said that the migrants are no longer causing any disturbances "because they are sober."

The ban in both municipalities will remain in place until October 31.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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