Over 40% of Brussels residents carry objects for self-defence

Over 40% of Brussels residents carry objects for self-defence
A new study surveyed residents and tourists about their sense of security in Brussels. Credit: zoetnet/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Over a quarter of Brussels residents declared carrying an object for self-defence, with nearly 40% among them saying they carry an actual weapon, new figures show.

The figures were published in a survey conducted by Brussels–Prevention & Security (BPS/BPV), a public security body created in 2015 and charged with developing a centralised regional security policy.

A total of 44% surveyed inhabitants said they carried "means of self-defence" to protect themselves in Brussels.

While over a quarter of those respondents said the items were ordinary objects like keys, and umbrella or jewellery, 38% among them said they carried actual weapons, including knives, air guns or extendable batons, according to reports of the survey on Bruzz.

One in three residents of Brussels said they had taken steps to protect their homes against a break-in, and an additional 14% declared to have signed up to self-defence courses.

Launched in 2018, the survey was carried out in two stages, with the first consisting of a door-to-door survey of residents over the age of 15 living in one of the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region.

The second part of the study surveyed tourists and residents of other areas of Belgium who commuted into Brussels for work, study or other activities.

The survey also showed that 15% of both residents and commuters chose to avoid the streets and the metro in Brussels at night.

The number one cause of concern cited by Brussels residents are aggression and domestic burglaries, 35% of tourists and 23% of commuters said they most often worried about a terrorist attack, a concern cited by only 8% of residents in Brussels.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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