David Lavaux, the Mayor of Erquelinnes (a small bordering municipality between Belgium and France), has decided on Wednesday to close some of the crossing points with concrete blocks between his municipality and the French ones including Jeumont, among others. The number of current Belgian police forces in place in the Lermes- Erquelinnes zone does not enable them to check all border crossings on a permanent basis.
On Wednesday, concrete blocks have therefore been set up at some of the crossing points in the Erquelinnes municipality (Hainaut). Mayor David Lavaux has taken emergency measures on Wednesday morning, as a response to the French authorities that requested that they check all crossing points between the Belgian and the French bordering municipalities. “It represents more than twenty crossing points in total”, explains David Lavaux.
“Our municipality wants to show solidarity towards its French neighbours, but our police zone located in Lermes only counts 54 policemen and it is therefore physically impossible for us to carry out checks at all crossing points. Some of them are located on country roads and have therefore been shut by concrete blocks this morning. A decision will be made at the next city council on whether to keep these measures for another month or not.”
The crossing points closed by concrete blocks are located on Chemin d’Hurtebise, Rue de Montignies, Rue de Cousolre, Rue de Colleret, Rue Reine Elisabeth, Rue Jeanne, Rue des Usines, Rue de Maubeuge, Rue Fosse au Sable, Porte de France, Petit Binche and Bouchon de Marpent.
The Mayor of the Erquelinnes municipality also indicated that the police zone from Lermes will ensure they will be actively present at these crossing points, together with the French national police.