- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
More Brussels neighbourhoods move to ban alcohol in public places
Increased instances of nuisance related to alcohol consumption and public drunkenness are prompting more Brussels municipalities to ban alcohol.
The municipal council of Anderlecht recently voted for a ban on the entire municipal territory, Bruzz reports, and other communes are considering following suit.
Alcohol bans are currently imposed via a police ordinance, which must be accompanied by a clear reason for the decision.
Anderlecht and Saint-Gilles, for example, introduced a “summer plan” to keep the peace in certain areas.
But such bans are often temporary and limited to only the squares and streets with the most nuisance, which police find frustrating because “people causing nuisance can simply move around to avoid being fined,” according to Laurent Masset, spokesman for the Marlow police zone (Auderghem, Uccle and Watermael-Boitsfort).
Masset said a ban on the entire territory of the police zone would be significantly easier to enforce - and that approach is gaining favour.
Watermael-Boitsfort currently has such a general ban throughout its territory, and Anderlecht and Uccle also approved such a ban during the last municipal council. Offenders can receive an administrative fine.
Police can also intervene in cases of people who are not posing a nuisance but are violating the ban by consuming alcohol in public places. The alcoholic drink can be confiscated and discarded.
The issue of public drunkenness and alcohol-related nuisances was raised at the last conference of mayors.
According to Woluwe-Saint-Pierre mayor Benoît Cerexhe, there is talk of harmonising the regulations across the 19 Brussels municipalities.
“A majority of mayors are in favour,” said Cerexhe, but while more municipalities are expanding their alcohol-free zones, there is no concrete plan for a broader ban just yet.
Jette mayor Claire Vandevivere said a general alcohol ban is disproportionate to the issues.
“In many places there is no problem, and such a ban on the whole territory would have too great an impact on the freedom of citizens,” Vandevivere said.