Mayors shut down commercial activities in Brussels' Noord District to “calm tensions” after Thursday’s fatal knife attack
The Mayors of Schaarbeek and Sint-Joost-ten-Node have issued mayoral decrees banning commercial activities in the area of their respective municipalities that is close to Brussels North Railway Station between the hours of 1am and 6am. The decision follows Thursday evening’s stabbing incident in which one police officer was killed and another injured. There has been tension for some time in Brussels’ North District and now the authorities in the municipalities that cover much (but not all) of the district have decided to take measures that they hope will ensure a return to public order in the area.
Under the conditions of the mayoral decree all commercial activity, including night shops, bookmakers, hospitality and prostitution (the area is home to numerous brothels) is banned between the hours of 1am and 6am. The ban will apply for one month starting at 1am on Monday 14 November. The area affected includes the Aarschotstraat, Brabantstraat and the Koninginneplein.
The Mayor of Schaarbeek Cécile Jodogne (Francophone federalist) told journalists that “This is a measure that is being taken urgently in response to the seriousness of what has happened. It allows our police officers to guarantee law and order in the North District during the coming days”. This sentiment is echoed by Mayor Emir Kir (independent, photo above) of Sint-Joost-ten-Node agrees. Mr Kir told journalists that “We have already made tangible efforts to try and make this area safe. We now need to step up these efforts even further.
”There have been tensions in the North District for some time. This has resulted in a heavy workload for the police service.
Mayor Jodogne’s office says that these tensions have increased still further since the fatal stabbing, “This tragedy is a reminder of the extent to which police officers are confronted daily with senseless violence, especially in the North District.
Meanwhile, the Chief Commissioner of the Brussels North Local Police Service Olivier Slosse, told journalists that local residents, traders and employees of the various public services are are active in the North District are entitled to a safe environment.
The Mayor of Schaarbeek is also looking to the Federal Government to take structural measures to improve public safety, especially in areas like the North district.