During the city council in May, the Zottegem police gave a detailed explanation about their operation and some important safety figures. They gave word and explanation about the crime and traffic figures in the city of Zottegem.
“The police force provided a clear overview of all safety figures in our city. These figures ensure that we can keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to safety. In Zottegem we strive for a safe city. We make great efforts to ban crime in our city and take a firm approach to criminal acts. Our police forces play a crucial role in this and deserve our utmost respect.” says Mayor Evelien De Both (N-VA)† “We meet with the police every month during local security consultations to discuss security actions and set priorities. The police force figures include the main crime and traffic figures. For each category, 59 cities and municipalities in East Flanders are compared on the basis of three parameters: absolute figures, facts per 1,000 inhabitants and a score in the ranking. A score of 59/59 means that as a city or municipality you score best in that category and therefore had to record the fewest number of crimes. A score of 1/59 means you are the worst student in the class.”
Violence in public space: 3.9 facts per 1,000 inhabitants. Since 2019, the number of personal offenses such as assault and battery has fallen sharply. The police recorded 104 offenses in 2021, in 2019 we were still confronted with 193 cases.
Shoplifting: 12 facts per 1,000 inhabitants. The number of shoplifting fell sharply compared to previous years. In 2019, 33 thefts were reported and in 2020 there were even 40. The decrease in the number of shoplifting will largely be due to the fact that the stores were forced to close during the corona period.
Burglaries: This figure has also declined sharply since 2019, when 48 incidents still took place in Zottegem. In 2021 these were still 26 facts, which means that Zottegem also gains a nice place here with the 48th place.
car thefts: The figure for car thefts has been stagnant for several years. Also this year there were 3 car thefts on Zottegem territory.
Bicycle thefts: The police recorded an increase in this category. 64 offenses took place in 2021, compared to 25 and 43 in 2020 and 2019 respectively. These thefts mainly took place in the station area.
Traffic accidents: Unfortunately, the number of traffic accidents remains the same. Many of these accidents are due to excessive speed and the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. Another major cause of these accidents is alcohol in traffic.
Total Flashed Vehicles: Nearly 3,400 cars were flashed in one year. Especially in the Oombergenstraat, the Buke, the Tweekerkenstraat and the Gentse Steenweg, many drivers were caught driving too fast.
“These figures prove how hard the police force is committed. Some figures still leave a lot of room for improvement, which is why we haven’t been sitting still lately. In order to cope with the increasing bicycle theft, I have taken action in consultation with NMBS and police services. The bicycle shed at the front of the station has been thoroughly overhauled. The walls in front of the bicycle shed have been demolished so that both social control and police control run more smoothly. This approach ensures that the safety of the station area is increased. In addition, we are also investigating the possibility of placing mobile cameras at the back of the station. Finally, we also take care of the follow-up of a new bicycle shed at the back of the station. Permanent cameras will be used here, which reduces the risk of theft. We remain in close consultation with NMBS and insist that they make rapid progress on these renovations.” clarifies mayor De Both† “Some other figures worry me greatly. The exaggerated speeds measured in Zottegem are unacceptable. Driving too fast puts other road users at risk and is a form of antisocial behaviour. The same applies to using a mobile phone behind the wheel. We really cannot accept drinking and driving either, we have a zero tolerance for alcohol in traffic. We condemn every form of crime, and every crime is one too many. There are certainly a few points of work that we will continue to focus on in the coming years, together with the police services, but overall we can say that our city scores well in many areas. Zottegem is a safe city to live and visit.”