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‘Dine-and-dashing’ on the rise in Belgium
More and more customers leave restaurants and bars in Belgium without paying, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. Last year, there were 629 reported cases of ‘dine and dashing’, 15% more than in 2011, official figures from the Federal Police indicate. The real figure is thought to be much higher, because owners often do not report the offence to the police. According to the Neutral Union for the Self-Employed (SNI), the crisis and the smoking ban are to blame for this increase. "Customers now find it easier to leave a bar or restaurant, allegedly for a cigarette, then run away," a spokesman for the union says.