Antwerp police broke up an illegal gathering of street racers on Saturday night, issuing around 450 fines to people who had gathered in the neighbourhood of Luchtbal near the port.
Police seized four cars and two motorcycles in addition to issuing the fines, according to a press release.
There have long been complaints about street racing in this area of the city, but police attempts to respond to reports as they happen has generally resulted in little success, as perpetrators are easily able to flee the scene.
This time, police set up a more targeted action.
With traffic police, the canine unit, the mobile unit, the local criminal investigation department, and a Federal police helicopter, they cracked down on mass gatherings of street racers and spectators in two large parking garages, sealing all exits from the garages and subjecting everyone within to a police check.
Apart from the 450 GAS fines (Municipal Administrative Sanctions for minor nuisances) and vehicle seizures, one driver had his licence withdrawn after a positive drug test. Six people had no driving licence and six others had committed offences against the conditions of theirs. Two cars were found not to have passed the roadworthiness test.
There have been multiple reports of street racing in this area of Antwerp in recent weeks, including an instance last week in which police had to intervene after a crash. Police say the large gatherings like the ones in the car park on Saturday create a nuisance for the neighbourhood and violate coronavirus measures.
The maximum GAS fine is €350.
The Brussels Times