The crime rate in Brussels and Antwerp, two places where a lot of soldiers deployed when the terrorist threat level was raised, fell by 30% compared to the same period last year. This was reported by La Dernière Heure and Het Laaste Nieuws. In Brussels, the PolBru zone gave out 790 fines in the first twelve weeks of 2014, compared to 550 this year. In Antwerp, 314 fines were handed out in the first 12 weeks of 2015, compared to 459 last year. Burglary, theft and illegal deposits are the crimes that have gone down the most.
According to the Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance), these statistics are explained by the presence of soldiers on the street (118 in Brussels and 57 in Antwerp). The Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur (PS) does not agree. He says the crime rate was already going down in 2014. “That’s all I can say. I have no figures for 2015. But I can assure you that the presence of soldiers on the street had no impact, otherwise I would have been told”, he said.