Over 60,000 reports issued for lockdown violations in Belgium
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    Over 60,000 reports issued for lockdown violations in Belgium

    Many of the reports were written up in the province of Hainaut. Credit: Belga

    Over 60,000 reports for violating lockdown rules have been written out since the start of Belgium’s lockdown.

    57,396 reports of non-compliance with various containment measures were written up as of 23 April, according to figures based on the National General Data Bank reported by Sudpresse. However, “there are surely a lot more than that,” said federal police spokesman Jonathan Pfund. “Not all [police] zones have sent in their figures on the matter,” he said. “We have probably exceeded 60,000 reports,” he added.

    A report is a written official document reporting a fact or offence – in this case, offences related to the non-observation of the lockdown rules -, in support of a charge. Offenders may face paying an amicable settlement or even being summoned before the correctional court.

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    Public health offences were the most frequently recorded, with 22,357 reports, and most of these offences occurred in the province of Hainaut (Wallonia) according to Sudpresse. The ban on unnecessary travel was the second-most frequent violation, with 19,256 reports. Violations of the ban on gatherings came in third place, with 15,116 reports written up. 440 people got a report for violating social distancing rules, and non-compliance with the opening and closing hours of shops was also sanctioned.

    Police will adapt as Belgium moves out of lockdown, “but for the time being, we remain very attentive to the respect of the rules of containment,” said Pfund. 

    Belgium has been in lockdown since mid-March and will progressively end confinement rules in three phases, starting on 4 May.

    The Brussels Times