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Schaerbeek extends public drinking ban into the new year

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A 24-hour alcohol ban issued in a Schaerbeek district will be extended into the new year after local officials said reports of violent incidents had been nearly halved since it was implemented in the summer.

The ban was introduced in August, in an effort by municipal officials to curb rising reports of public nuisance in the district known as Quartier du Brabant, near Brussels’ Gare du Nord, which falls under the territory of the municipalities of both Schaerbeek and Saint-Josse.

While the ban was originally meant to last until the end of October, the local council decided to extend it until 31 January 2020, citing positive results throughout the summer.

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The Brussels North police zone said reports of beatings and injuries in that zone had decreased by 47% throughout the months of July, August and September in comparison with the same period last year, Bruzz reports.

Spokesperson Audrey Dereymaeker also said that reports of violent theft had fallen by 7.3% in the first nine months of 2019, compared to the same period last month.

Although Dereymaeker said no direct link between the ban and the figures had been established, she suspected the measure had played a role noting that someone who is under the influence is “easy prey” for a thief.

Additionally, Dereymaeker said that the ban had helped stream police resources away from gatherings in front of night shops as well as  nuisance for excessive alcohol consumption.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times