Belgian coast police get help from Dutch colleagues to prevent trouble this summer
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Belgian coast police get help from Dutch colleagues to prevent trouble this summer

Police on Knokke's dike. Credit: Belga

The local police of the coastal resort Knokke-Heist will be assisted by Dutch police officers to avoid problems during the busy summer months.

Police from across the eastern border comes will help their Belgian colleagues in light of last summer’s incidents in the resort’s entertainment district, which often involved young people from the Netherlands.

“Knokke-Heist is a lively seaside resort and attracts different target groups. Last summer there were many nuisance problems with young people from Brussels, the Netherlands and northern France,” according to the chief of police Steve Desmet.

The local police hope this collaboration will allow them to react more quickly if any nuisance is caused, as several police teams will be present on the streets, the beach and the dike during the coming weeks, according to Belga news agency.

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Last summer, a similar cooperation was set up, in anticipation of the many Dutch youths who often come to Knokke-Heist during the first weeks of the summer holidays.

“The cooperation with the Dutch police proved to be of great value last summer. Thanks to their assistance, we can identify the young people faster and calm down the situation,” said Desmet.

Although temperatures are still on the colder side at the moment, the local police zone has also prepared a heat plan, as more young people from surrounding countries and Brussels travel to the seaside resort when the weather is nice, according to Desmet.

“That causes extra inconvenience. If the heat plan is activated, all operational staff at work will be reoriented with specific enforcement tasks,” he said.

Earlier this year, several incidents were reported involving hundreds of young people, mainly French-speaking children of people from Brussels or Walloon Brabant who have a second residence at the coast, having spontaneous parties on the beach and along the seafront of the coastal town, which often resulted in the beach being cleared.