Public transit stations in Brussels, Belgium, are becoming 'no-go zones' due to an increase in crime and violence often perpetrated by migrants, according to local media.
Increasing criminal activity on public transportation and at train and bus stations, most notably Brussels-North station, has created a security crisis that is pushing transit employees to the breaking point.
"During a ticket check, someone pulled a knife and shouted, 'No one is going to stop me!'" an anonymous security guard told Der Morgen. "Only when the policemen who came with us drew their weapons did the man put down his knife. That happened a few months ago, at a tram checkpoint."
Incidents like these are becoming "daily fare," SCEPTR reports, citing local officials.
"Brussels-North is a stopping place for illegal immigrants who cause nuisance, drug problems and waste problems. Stabbings, skirmishes and other crimes are the order of the day, in and around the metro stations."
#Marrakesh-debat: van de ivoren toren die het parlement is naar de weerbarstige realiteit.— Sam van Rooy 💛 (@SamvanRooy1) December 7, 2018
Heel de benedenverdieping van #Brussel-Noord is een vies, vuil en onveilig open illegalenkamp. Onbekommerd spelen ze er voetbal. Het is van hun geworden. En niemand die er iets aan doet. pic.twitter.com/sPnne1z2KK
"The number of violent incidents against STIB security personnel was already 104 by September last year, while there were 'barely' 79 incidents throughout 2016," SCEPTR reports. "Meanwhile, the Brussels metro and train stations are also plagued by thieves. Around 50% more people have been robbed in the past year."
Law enforcement officials say they are already understaffed city-wide, and few resources can be redirected to the transit security agencies.
"There have certainly been efforts in the area of safety in recent years," says spokeswoman An Van Hamme. "But real police work remains, of course, the task of the police."
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(PHOTO: Romaine / Wikimedia Commons)