The mayor of Schaerbeek, Cécile Jodogne, has announced that the strict rules put in place in Brussels' North Quarter following several incidents of violence against police officers will be extended by another month.
In November 2022, an ordinance was issued after the death of inspector Thomas Monjoie earlier that month. It provided for a drastic restriction on all nighttime and commercial activities in the area to improve safety, including restricting opening hours of shops selling alcohol, banning gatherings of more than five people posing a threat to public safety, and making systematic identity checks possible.
This ordinance was already once extended in December and was set to expire on Sunday, however, Jodogne announced on Monday that she had issued a police order to extend the measures for another month.
"A police report of 12 January 2023 showed a slight decrease in crime in the neighbourhood and a decrease in problematic gatherings around alcohol sales outlets," a statement from the mayor read.
"Despite these encouraging results, I nevertheless call for an extension of the measures in order to be able to continue the decrease in crime in the neighbourhood, facilitate the work of the police on the ground and restore a feeling of security in the neighbourhood," she added.
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Additionally, the measures have reportedly also led to improved functioning of the shops in the neighbourhood, with Jodogne stating they were "met with the satisfaction of the shopkeepers."
As a result, the prohibition of alcohol sales between 20:00 and 06:00, as well as a ban on the gathering of more than five people and the authorisation for police to carry out surveillance and control of people at any time of day, will remain in place until 15 February 2023.
In December, Jodogne stressed that she already implemented administrative measures to reduce night-time activities in the neighbourhood, but that federal and regional partners needed to help solve the problems in the area.