The area around the station has long suffered from street crime. In the past local Mayors have asked the federal authorities to intervene as they say that a large portion of the crime in the area around the station has come about due to the presence of undocumented migrants, some of whom sleep rough in station and its environs. The migrants are also often the victims of crime themselves.
Local residents and business owners say that the situation has got out of hand and have repeated complained to the police, politicians and the media.
25 people were subjected to random checks during Wednesday night’s police operation. Five were detained as they were unable to prove legal right to residence in Belgium. The Immigration Department was informed of their arrest. All 5 were later released.
In addition to these 7 crime reports were issued for possession of drugs and 3 fines were issued to errant motorists.