Antwerp police break up multiple parties, make several arrests

Antwerp police break up multiple parties, make several arrests
Credit: Belga

Police in Antwerp last night had to intervene in multiple places where people had gathered and were not adhering to current guidelines regarding social distancing in light of the global pandemic.

Several people were administratively arrested, mostly around the Scheldt quays and the Leopoldplaats in the Theatre district, according to De Standaard.

The largest gathering was on Saturday evening on the Sint-Michielskaai, where about a hundred mostly young people gathered. There was dancing and loud music being played, which attracted even more people.

Police arrived on the scene to remind those present of the coronavirus rules and sent everyone home. One person was administratively arrested and the police also confiscated some portable music devices, according to them.

“When we arrived on the Scheldt quays, most of the young people started walking,” said Wouter Bruyns, spokesperson for the Antwerp police. “We were very pragmatic and only arrested one person for disturbing the public order. We also confiscated five [portable music players], one of which was a large stereo.”

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There were more gatherings elsewhere in the city later in the evening. Police also had to intervene on Leopoldplaats, and litter was left behind throughout the city where people had gathered en masse.

Earlier in the day, the police had already had to intervene in several crowded places.

“We certainly don't want to be too strict,” said Bruyns. “But we try to enforce it as proportionally and fairly as possible.”

In the past weeks, especially when the weather was good, police in Antwerp had to intervene several times because too many people gathered on the Scheldt quays.

On Friday evening, groups of young people on the Zeedijk and at the beach in Knokke-Heist once again caused a nuisance. According to the police of the Damme/Knokke-Heist zone, no serious offences were reported, but GAS fines and police reports were handed out for breaches of the coronavirus measures.

The Brussels Times

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