Since the beginning of the year, the police have intercepted 3,076 illegal residents in the province of West Flanders. This is according to its Governor, Carl Decaluwé. This figure has decreased compared to the same period last year. During the first five months of 2016, nearly 4,000 people were stopped and questioned in West Flanders by the police, and found without a residence permit.
The national Provincial Advisor, Kurt Himpe (New Flemish Alliance) says, “The figures of the last two months show an increase in arrests, in particular for human trafficking.” He is very conscious of the forthcoming opening of a reception centre for asylum seekers in Bailleul (France), close to the French-Belgian border. He says that it is rekindling fears that increasing numbers of migrants are trying to reach the United Kingdom, via Belgian ports.
According to the Governor of the province of West Flanders, the police are however paying particular attention to this issue.