Local authorities have given the temporary go-ahead to spontaneous police checks on passers-by in parts of a Brussels park amid reports of growing security concerns in the area.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close allowed officers from the Brussels-Ixelles police zone to carry out identity checks in a defined perimeter in the Porte de Hal park, near Gare du Midi, even where no infringements were committed.
“Normally there must always be a reason to check someone,” Olivier Slosse, a spokesperson with the police zone told Bruzz, explaining that the measure was temporary and meant to “tackle the rising sense of insecurity.”
The reports prompted authorities to announce public lighting would be increased and the tall shrubs surrounding the park would be trimmed more often, according to the outlet.
The checks were approved from on 13 August and will continue through 13 September as part of wider crackdown on reports of drug-related incidents and violent crimes over the past few months.
The city mayor said that meetings were being conducted with municipal authorities in Saint-Gilles in efforts to find a solution to the problem.
“We cannot tolerate people being afraid to walk through the park,” the outlet quoted the mayor as saying.
The Brussels Times