Brussels transport company STIB is asking for political action to tackle increasing public drug use in metro stations, stating that it cannot handle the problem alone.
As temperatures drop, STIB is seeing the number of people using (illegal) drugs inside metro stations all over the Brussels-Capital Region going up.
"We do not have exact figures, but the impression is certainly that drug use in the stations is increasing," STIB spokesperson An Van hamme told Bruzz. "We work with various non-profits that have the expertise to speak to users and guide them to the right reception options, but this phenomenon is not easy to treat."
Therefore, STIB is calling for political action, she stressed. "We are also victims in this story. As a company, we organise public transport and try to do that in the safest and most comfortable way possible. So solutions are needed."
In the event of a possible incident, STIB does call the police – but that does not always prove very effective. "Officers can guide the people in question to the exit, but nothing prevents users from returning," Van hamme said.
"That is why we are also launching a call for a higher-level roundtable to develop an action plan to address the issue," she said. Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt is soon planning a consultation between the various parties involved, her office confirmed.