Share article:
Share article:

75% of Belgians feel safe, says police survey

© Belga

Most Belgians feel safe, especially in their neighbourhoods, much safer than police crime statistics might suggest, according to an extensive survey by the federal police on citizens’ perceptions of their safety, their readiness to file complaints and their assessment of the services of the police.

Some 75% of Belgians said they always, or almost always, felt safe in their neighbourhoods. In fact, the things that seemed to worry Belgians most were excessive speeding by drivers and clandestine garbage dumps.

The Security Monitor survey, conducted among 168,206 respondents from March to May 2018, was the first such study by the federal police in 10 years.

When compared to crime statistics for 2018 compiled by the police, its results, published on Wednesday, give an idea of the impact of crime on the Belgian society.

A major finding of the Security Monitor survey is that Belgians tend to underestimate computer-based crime in particular.

According to the official data for 2018, acts of cybercrime registered by the police increased by 14.8% in one year. Phishing (stealing of users’ data by using false Internet sites) seemed to be increasing at a particularly fast rate: 1,277 such cases were registered in 2018, up from 475 the year before.

On the other hand, the Security Monitor shows, only 14% of victims of data theft via computer or smart phone in 2018 actually reported these crimes to the police. For victims of online scams, intimidation or harassment, the proportion was barely higher, 22%.

“In other words, some 200,000 infractions committed via the Internet were not reported,” the federal police noted.

Some 75% of Belgians said they always, or almost always, felt safe in their neighbourhoods. In fact, the things that seemed to worry Belgians most were excessive speeding by drivers and clandestine garbage dumps.

The number of offenses registered by the police last year was roughly the same as in 2017, with theft and extortion generating the most complaints.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...
European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...