The Namur-Capital Zone police received 56,497 requests for intervention in 2022, compared to 51,703 in 2021, it said on Tuesday on presenting its annual report.
Arrests increased from 1,867 to 2,358 and the number of fines from 47,401 to 54,025, including some 7,200 communal administrative sanctions.
The increases can be explained in particular by the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the law enforcers.
In terms of road safety, traffic accidents were up by 23% (1,802 against 1,458 in 2021). Those with bodily injuries increased by 25% to 295 and those with alcohol by 3.6% to 174.
What was most worrying, the Namur-Capital Zone police said, was the involvement of young people aged 19-29. They accounted for 443 accidents, 22% more than the previous year. Moreover, young drivers were involved in 21 of the 40 accidents involving alcohol and bodily harm recorded in 2022.
“After a slight lull, we are therefore back to the 2019 rate, before Covid-19,” Thierry Duchatelet, first commissioner of the Namur-Capital Police, said regretfully.
Huge increases in vehicle theft, pickpocketing
In terms of crime, the situation was alarming. The 294 thefts of vehicles – whether cars, bicycles or scooters – were a 32% increase compared to 2021, and higher even than in 2019.
There was also a general increase in thefts from vehicles (581 in 2022, +12%), pickpocketing (696, +106%) and computer crime (1,140 cases, +44%).
On the other hand, burglaries were down, compared to 2019, as were offences involving drugs and weapons.