Friday, 14 August 2020
Additional police reinforcements have been planned at the Belgian coast and the major railway stations following last week’s problems, Interior Minister Pieter De Crem announced on Friday.
During the week, De Crem had already mentioned the planned police reinforcements active at the Coast, which were sufficient, according to him.
Last weekend, chaos reigned at the coast, as a massive fight broke out on the beach of Blankenberge -which in the meantime has led to four judicial arrests and 17 administrative arrests – and other coastal towns were flooded with daytrippers.
De Crem spoke out against subsequent local initiatives to prevent more daytrippers from reaching the most popular seaside resorts, and proposed to introduce the possibility of a ban on places along the entire coast for those who would be punished for violence or non-compliance with the coronavirus measures.
For the weekend of 15 August, which is a holiday in Belgium, police reinforcements have nevertheless been planned, in addition to those who are usually mobilised every summer for the coast.
“An increased police presence of 125 [officers] on Saturday and 115 on Sunday, spread along the coast, other busy places in the country and busy points such as railway stations,” said De Crem. “Additional sections will be mobilised in the stations of Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Blankenberge, La Panne and Knokke.”
While thanking the police for their work, the minister concluded that any act of violence against them or the rescue services, as observed in Blankenberge, will be punished “in a proportional and correct manner.”
The Brussels Times