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Drug dealers making Flagey increasingly unlivable, say locals
Residents and shopkeepers in Brussels’ Flagey neighbourhood say drug dealers have made the area difficult to live in.
The neighbourhood has seen smashed windows, arson and instances of people openly preparing drugs for sale on terraces, Bruzz reports, and the mayor has asked police to step up patrols.
“I am seriously considering selling my house,” one resident told Bruzz, commenting anonymously out of fear of retaliation from drug dealers.
The resident referred to several arson attacks in the last month, along with loud arguments and shouting that wake them during the night.
Pub and shop owners on Rue Gray in the area also complained about the behaviour of the dealers, who they say have been visibly active in the neighbourhood for a few months.
“I took over this business three months ago, and if I had known this, I wouldn't have done it,” said Fernando Passos, noting the prevalence of smashed windows and inappropriate behaviour from drug users.
A neighbourhood bartender speaking under anonymity echoed the complaints, saying that both sellers and users of drugs cause a nuisance.
“Their behaviour scares away other customers,” the bartender told Bruzz. “Also, they don't always pay for their drinks.”
The neighbourhood’s mayor said that arrests seem to do little to curb the issue.
“We arrested someone, but the next day he was already showing off again in the neighbourhood and laughing at the police,” mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said. “These people think as if it is their neighbourhood.”
Doulkeridis has asked the prosecutor's office to follow up on the work of the police.