Brussels police announced on Monday that individuals set fire, during the night, to the local Brussels Capital/Ixelles police station in the Haren area. Two suspects were arrested. In total, the Brussels police apprehended 37 individuals during New Year’s Eve night for questioning. In 23 such cases, these police questionings gave rise to administrative arrests, mainly for being drunk and public order offences.
The fire was set off at the entrance to the police station, located on Rue de Verdun in Haren. However, the police quickly extinguished the flames, which enabled them to limit the damage caused. Two individuals were arrested on-site in the wake of this incident.
Moreover, four vehicles were set alight during the night, in particular on Avenue de l’Héliport, along the Rue d’Anderlecht and in Rue Vandenbrande. In the Cité Modèle (“Model City”) in Laeken, individuals set fire to bin bags in a park, and the street furniture in the Square Prince Léopold was set alight.
A police spokeswoman said, “In total, our men made 14 judicial arrests.” She further clarified, “Four individuals were made potentially subject to questioning by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. There were 23 administrative arrests, mainly for being drunk in a public place and public order offences.”
The police said that the firework display on the Esplanade du Heysel attracted 45,000 spectators and passed off without incident.
Lastly, around midnight, the police took the decision to close the access to the Grand Place, as it was excessively crowded with people. The police further said, “At that time, there were some 10,000 people in the square.”