28th Sep 2023

New police station promised for Brussels-Midi amid drug problem

  • Other measures include improving the infrastructure and camera systems at the station (Photo: Marc Smith)
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Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo announced on Thursday (7 September) that a police station will be built at the Brussels Midi station, in response to concerns of escalating crack abuse and insecurity around the key terminal, which serves local, national and international destinations for the capital city.

"There is definitely a will to solve the problem," he said at a press conference, where he announced an action plan of a total 22 measures.

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The plan has been developed by the National Crisis Center, in collaboration with the federal government, the Brussels government, the municipalities of Anderlecht and Sint-Gillis and the NMBS.

Constructing a police station at Brussels-Midi station is the most significant initiative, but other measures include improving the infrastructure and camera systems of the station, as well as having regular cleaning operations in and around it, Belgian media reported.

There will also be an alcohol ban at the station.

Better monitoring of drug consumption will involve the establishment of improved shelter facilities for drug-users. A reception centre will be established to assist unaccompanied minors who frequent the area around the station.

Additionally, efforts will be made to illuminate currently poorly-lit areas, and emergency toilet facilities will be installed to address the needs of the homeless.

"The Brussels-Midi action plan should significantly improve the lives of travellers and local residents," De Croo promised.

Earlier this summer, tensions arose near the IJzer/Yser metro station when two men were attacked by a drug addict.

Brussels has announced plans to build an integrated "risk reduction" centre for drug users, commonly known as fixing rooms, in the canal neighbourhood, directly across from the Tour and Taxis exhibition complex, by 2026.

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