Harassment in swimming pools: Home Affairs Minister wants a crackdown

Harassment in swimming pools: Home Affairs Minister wants a crackdown
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Home Affairs Minister Pieter De Crem is ready to discuss with local authorities ways to avoid gang-related incidents in swimming pools and take additional measures if needed, De Crem said on Tuesday in response to questions in the Chamber.

Recurring incidents in Flanders in recent weeks in open-air swimming pools and recreational areas, such as young men harassing women and causing fights, were the focus of questions raised on Tuesday in the Chamber’s Home Affairs Commission by parliamentarians Dries Van Langenhove (Vlaams Belang) and Koen Metsu (N-VA).

The minister recalled that, in the first place, it was the responsibility of the people running these facilities and the local police to manage such incidents. The law on private safety voted in under the previous legislature allows for the employment of private guards who can control users, stopping some of them from entering, and even arresting them until the police arrive.

In Ostend or Beveren, where problems have occurred, other measures have also been taken such as registering users and banning others from entering.

“This type of nuisance is intolerable and must be combatted,” stressed De Crem (CD&V), who added that he was prepared to take additional measures if necessary.

One of the questions fielded by the minister was raised by the young extreme-right parliamentarian Dries Van Langenhove, whose presence on the Commission, chaired by another extreme-right legislator, sparked a great deal of media interest.

The Brussels Times

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