Footage of the first night of the capital city under curfew showed police surveilling popular gathering spots such as Boulevard Anspach or the pedestrian esplanades in front of Bourse or Théâtre de la Monnaie.
“We will not simply leave them on the streets,” he said.
Paelinck said that officers would ensure that the curfew was rigorously followed by citizens, saying officers’ common sense should prevail, but warning that those who knowingly flouted the ban would be slapped with a hefty fine.
“If the trip proves to be essential, for a medical or work-related reason, there is no problem,” he said, adding: “But if we run into students [violating the ban], they will get a fine of €250 each.”
Officers patrolling the streets at midnight on Tuesday could be seen in the footage running into a man on an electric scooter, a pair of cyclists and two pedestrians, whom they urge to get home as soon as possible.
The midnight curfew will remain into force throughout the upcoming autumn break, with Paelinck saying police would keep an eye on pupils and university students to ensure they respect the measure.