The city of Leuven will work together with the police to take a stricter approach to partygoers who keep causing nuisances in the city, and ban them from going out in Leuven again.
This measure comes after a number of incidents in recent weeks. 12 people were arrested in Leuven last weekend, of which nine spent the night in a police cell, reports VRT NWS.
"Leuven is a vibrant city," said mayor Mohammed Ridouani. "Like in every city, there are sometimes issues with the nightlife," he added.
The police stressed that the number of incidents has not gone up, compared to recent years. "We do not see a significant increase of the number of reports we make," said Jean-Paul Mochaers, the chief of police in Leuven, reports De Standaard. "Like every other year, most of it is alcohol abuse, drugs and blurring of moral standards. There is hardly any respect for local residents, café owners or the police, and discussions can sometimes get out of hand," he added.
To make sure that everybody feels at home at the Oude Markt in Leuven, where most people go out in the city, there will be several new measures.
"There is a lot of camera surveillance and police patrols, but sometimes we have to go one step further," said Ridouani, reports Het Nieuwsblad. "Troublemakers that go out to fight, or repeatedly come into contact with the police, risk a red card. They will temporarily not be allowed to enter the Oude Markt. It is only a small minority, but there is no place for them in Leuven," the mayor added.
The cafe owners also want to contribute to a more pleasant nightlife. There will not be a closing hour for the cafes, but the owners are committed to cleaning up their terraces in time. "We will keep our clients inside starting from 6:00 in the morning and start cleaning up outside, so that it will be clean by 7:00," said Erik De Rop from the nonprofit organisation Oude Markt, reports VRT NWS.
The mayor stressed that the Oude Markt has to remain an environment where people come to have fun. "The Oude Markt is one of the nicest places to go out in Europe, but we have to make sure that it remains pleasant for everyone by tackling the negative elements," he said at the press conference.
The Brussels Times