Cybercriminals increasingly target young people in Vlas police zone

Cybercriminals increasingly target young people in Vlas police zone

While the Coronavirus pandemic makes annual comparisons difficult, a 33% increase in cybercrime is among the clearest trends observed in 2022 by the Vlas police zone, which encompasses Kortrijk, Kuurne and Lendelede.

Another trend that stands out is a 29% drop in domestic violence, according to annual crime figures presented on Monday by the Vlas police.

“The Corona years put the wind in the sails of cybercrime since many purchases were made online and regular thieves also became Internet-savvy,” the area's police service noted.

The criminals target young people in particular

“You would expect most victims to be elderly, but the opposite is true," the Vlas police added. "The largest group involves people aged between 18 and 29.”

During the pandemic, everyone was forced to “stay in their quarters,” and that, too, is reflected in the figures. Now that the pandemic is over, the number of reports of intrafamily violence has dropped by 29%. “However, this fluctuates every year,” the Vlas police cautioned.

The zone is also increasingly facing bicycle thefts. The thieves mainly target electric bikes and scooters. These are more expensive and there are also more of them than before. The perpetrators are particularly active in Kortrijk’s station and entertainment district.

Roving gang of burglars in Lendelede

In Lendelede, on the other hand, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of residential burglaries. “This is the result of a roving gang of offenders who tried to commit a lot of burglaries in one street.”

In Kortrijk, perpetrators appear to strike much more often in the city centre than on the southern outskirts of the city.

While there is a remarkable 19% drop in car theft compared to 2019, thefts from vehicles are up 15%. “This mostly involves stealing work equipment from vans,” police said.

In 2022, police also noted a 21% drop in drug-related offences. “The phenomenon of laughing gas is not categorised as a drug, but we are seeing worrying increases,” the Vlas police zone said.

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