Heightened security in Antwerp for Mr Wilders's visit

Antwerp police are leaving nothing to chance and have implemented stringent security measures for today's visit from the Dutch far right politician Geert Wilders.  Mr Wilders is in Antwerp to support the Flemish far right Vlaams Belang party in the upcoming local elections.

The OCAD, the Belgian body that analyses the threat level, heightened the security threat level from 2 to 3 for the duration of the visit and for the locality that Mr Wilders is visiting.  This allows police to take extra measures.  Mobile and static squads have been deployed as Mr Wilders prepares to visit the Bird Market and address the Vlaams Belang faithful in the garden of the Fine Arts Museum.

Antwerp police's Sven Lommaert: "Security level 3 means stringent security measures.  Our officers will be visible, but will also mingle with the crowds.  Mobile police reinforcements will be held at the ready.  If you visit the Bird Market today, you will notice the police presence”.

Mr Wilders recently courted controversy by wishing to organise a cartoon competition centred on the prophet Mohammed.  Depicting the prophet is banned under Islam.  Protests surfaced in Pakistan, while in the Netherlands a man threatening to attack Mr Wilders was detained.