Nearly half of residents in Brussels, Belgium, are carrying an object intended for self-defense, according to a new survey.
A poll conducted by the Brussels–Prevention & Security (BPV) service found that 44 percent of Brussels inhabitants carry a "means of defense," with a large number (38%) toting actual weapons.
“In more than a quarter of those cases, daily accessories were listed, such as keys, umbrellas and rings,” Bruzz reports. “In 38 percent of the cases, however, real weapons are actually mentioned, with knives in particular, but brass knuckles, alarm and air pistols, and extendable batons were also named."
"Another 18 percent of people with a defensive weapon in their pocket indicate that it is a 'defensive agent,’ such as pepper spray.”
Additionally, 14 percent of respondents said they had taken courses in self-defense, such as martial arts, and 15 percent say they simply do not travel through Brussels at night on foot or by metro to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
"We are shocked by these figures," BPV said its report.
BPV says it questioned 1801 residents, 401 commuters, and 200 tourists to assess their feeling of safety in the city.
Interestingly, residents indicated that "the longer they live here, the more negatively they assess safety."
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(PHOTO: Yaroslav Mikheev / Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst