Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Drug violence in Brussels: mayors call for stronger action

07:10 22/02/2024

Brussels mayors are demanding stronger measures to combat drug violence in the Belgian capital.

Ixelles mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) told Le Soir that a government body with strong expertise in drugs, similar to the country’s anti-terrorism unit Ocam, is desperately needed following a spate of drug-related shootings in Brussels in recent days.

“I think there is a parallel to be drawn: Belgium was confronted with terrorism and it wasn't expecting it either,” Doulkeridis said, acknowledging that while there currently exists some degree of coordination on drug policing, there was an absence of qualitative and global expertise on the issue.”

The scope of the proposed body's expertise should also extend to weapons, said Doulkeridis. He and other mayors stressed that Belgium currently has no major national plan to combat drugs.

“Police and justice are doing what they can, but have their hands full,” Spinette said.

In the meantime, justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt (Open VLD) said the federal judicial police (FGP) will be reinforced with 67 inspectors following the recent shootings.

The prosecutor's office will also add 15 more lawyers in the coming weeks, and 25 more inspectors will be added to the operation of the federal railway police, although Tigchelt’s cabinet cautions that the 80 vacancies for judges and prosecutors across the country will be difficult to fill.

These additions come “on top of the eight magistrates and five lawyers recruited since November”, Tigchelt said.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Helen Lyons