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Authorities meet to discuss crime in Lemonnier
Wi-fi has been shut down at Lemonnier metro station at the request of Stib workers who say that it causes troublesome youth and drug dealers to hang around the station, leading to conflicts. Yesterday, several Stib drivers took part in a wildcat strike following the latest in a series of violent incidents.
On Friday evening, a youth was stabbed at Lemonnier. “The driver’s safety was also compromised because shifts switch in that station, and they have to wait for the next driver,” a union spokesperson told Bruzz. “But there are also problems in other stations, like Midi and Nord, where lots of people are milling around who are not transport users.”
Stib management is also immediately changing the station where drivers switch shifts. They will no longer wait in Lemonnier but in Midi. Unions representing Stib workers have also asked that electrical outlets in Lemonnier be removed so that mobile phones cannot be charged.
According to drivers and transport users, Lemonnier is indeed a problem station, with not only drug violence but theft and sexual intimidation regularly taking place there. The station is next in line for a renovation, like Rogier, De Brouckère and Beurs before it.
It is hoped that this will make a difference, but Stib isn’t waiting that long. It is in talks today with Brussels-City and the police about the station and the entire neighbourhood, which shopowners say continues to have problems with criminal activity. Figures support the claim: Last year, an average 16 incidents a month were reported to police in the neighbourhood. In January and February of this year, those figures had nearly doubled.
Photo: Nils Quintelier/BELGA