Police from the Brussels South zone attended a call in the Cureghem district of Anderlecht on Monday only to find themselves lured into a trap by local youths.
The incident was revealed yesterday by police zone chief Jurgen De Landsheer, speaking on the VRT news programme De Afspraak. The segment dealt with recent incidents involving violence aimed at police officers.
“A patrol was lured to a residential area with a false call,” he told he programme.
“When the officers arrived, the road was blocked and the police vehicle was attacked.”
The original call reported an incident of a dispute between two individuals on the Place Albert in Anderlecht. A police patrol attended the call but found no sign of an incident.
As they looked around, youths started to gather, apparently not happy with the presence of the police.
“About 50 individuals from the neighbourhood were not pleased,” a police spokesperson told Bruzz later.
“The patrol wanted to leave the scene, but a medium-sized stone was thrown at their car. The officers called for backup, but it turned out not to be necessary. Five minutes later all of the youths had disappeared.”
Police have obtained camera footage of the scene and will investigate. “So far that investigation has delivered no results,” said the spokesperson.
The incident comes after similar incidents in Ixelles and Jette communes, when police clashed with members of the public.
“The biggest problem is that troublemakers often get away with without consequences,” said De Landsheer.
“I think there is an urgent need for a no-holds-barred policy. The impunity and the perception that you can just get away with anything, have to be tackled in Brussels.”
The problem of antisocial youth is not new, he said, but the situation has been made worse by the coronavirus situation.
“Our image has taken a serious blow. We are the ones who have to enforce the measures, issue the fines, impose closures on shopkeepers. We are the ones who take away citizens’ freedom,” he said.