An Algerian-born pickpocket, 36, was arrested in Ghent after German policemen on site for Gentse Feesten as part of Europol’s exchange programme recognised him on Sunday. “Many pickpockets travel from one European festival to another to ‘work’,” explains Peter Van De Wynkele from Ghent police. The man was recognised as he was eating a hamburger under a marquis on Korenmarkt. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was last seen at a festival in Zurich.
6 other pickpockets were arrested in Ghent in the past few days, fewer than in recent years.
Collaboration with Munich policemen was put in place via a Europol international meeting dealing with pickpockets at festivals.
With the help of Europol, the “Festival” operation was launched following that meeting, to facilitate exchange of information and good practice.