Pickpockets claim 104 victims a day

Last year 38,000 people became the victims of pickpockets in Belgium. The figure is up 23% in comparison with 2008.

Federal police figures show that in all pickpockets claimed over 38,000 victims. That works out at an average of 104 a day.

The federal police's Eddy De Raedt attributes the new record to the presence of groups of pickpockets from eastern and southern Europe. Gang members are often members of the same family. Often minors are involved because children are released more easily by the authorities.

As a result of the economic crisis and a clamp down on street crime in London ahead of the Olympics  part of the problem has shifted to Belgium.