Radio 2

It’s corona fines galore for ‘spoilt children’ in Knokke-Heist

So far this month police in the jet set seaside resort of Knokke-Heist have issued no fewer than 250 corona fines to partying youngsters.  It is understood most of the youngsters are Francophone minors from Brussels and Walloon Brabant.  They have been dropped off in their parents’ holiday homes and found nothing more constructive to do than to throw parties in violation of corona measures.  All 250, or at least their parents, will have to pay corona fines of 250 euros.

During the past Easter break hundreds of youngsters gathered on the seafront and on the beach with plenty of booze but few face coverings.  Some youngsters got so drunk they had to be taken to hospital by ambulance.  The youngsters start to gather during the late afternoon.  Their activities include damaging several beach bars.

There are problems every year during the Easter break and the summer holidays in Knokke, but Anthony Wittesaele, city cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, says it’s become worse during the pandemic:

“More and more we notice parents dropping their kids off at their holiday homes.  They think local police are a kind of baby sit service.  Our police officers are at the end of their tether.  They have better things to do.  For a week these youngsters are left to their own devices.  I wouldn’t call them ‘nouveaux riches’, but spoilt children that are being abandoned by their parents.”

The police have written to all the parents, who will have to pay 250 euros for each child.

“It’s not the municipality that sets the amount.  You could wonder, if parents who drop off 4 or 5 children in a flat shouldn’t have to pay higher fines when the children organise lockdown parties” says Mr Wittesaele.

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