Seefhoek: police to collaborate with shopkeepers

Shopkeepers and the police will step up collaboration in the Antwerp Seefhoek area to combat problems with local drug dealers. The news comes a couple of days after a serious street-brawl, when shop owners took the law into their own hands to deal with the problem.

The incident took place in the Korte Zavelstraat on Wednesday evening, and was the climax of several days and weeks of tensions between the shopkeepers and the dealers. These are seen dealing drugs just on the corner of the streets or even in front of the shops and the shop owners are not putting up with this any longer.

Shopkeepers were not happy with the way police have been tackling the problem, but there will be a better cooperation in future. In order to avoid new confrontations, a neighbourhood information network, a kind of neighbourhood watch, will be set up. However, some will not refrain from using violence again if the situation should get of hand another time.

"We will not start the confrontation, but if we have to defend ourselves, we will", says Rachid who works in a local butcher shop.