Burglaries: "Belgium is the shopping centre of the West"

Belgium is a burglar's paradise because of its roads system. The federal police and the federal public prosecutor's office sounded the alarm in articles in the dailies De Morgen and De Standaard.

Eddy De Raedt, in head of combating theft at the federal police, says that European Union enlargement has played an important role in the rise in burglary figures since 2006.

In 2011 there were 70,000 burglaries. The figure is up 10% in comparison with the previous year.

Eric Bisschop co-ordinates the fight against criminal gangs at the federal public prosecutor's office. Referring to the roads system he says burglars are able to get where they want to be quickly and escape just as easily. The country's central location too does not help.

"It's paradise on earth for gangs of burglars. It's the shopping centre of the West."

Nowadays most burglaries take place during the late afternoon and no longer at night.