Geraardsbergen. According to the Vlaams Belang, the recreation area De Gavers is confronted with a lot of nuisance. ‘We have established that in many cases those involved are part of predominantly immigrant groups of loitering youth’, the party believes. The importance argues for ‘a consistent and strict anti-nuisance policy’ and puts forward a number of proposals for approach.
The Vlaams Belang van Geraardsbergen has established that the De Gavers recreation area is confronted with ‘nuisance phenomena’, such as ‘violence, minor forms of theft and/or vandalism’. “In recent years, however, the nuisance has frequently degenerated into massive fights in which people are all too often seriously hurt or injured and in which major damage is done to the infrastructure,” according to Vlaams Belang.
‘Ethnic groups of loitering youth’
According to Vlaams Belang, things should be ‘called by name’. ‘We have established that in many cases the people involved are part of predominantly immigrant groups of loitering youth. They gather in these places with the sole purpose of causing a nuisance, disturbing public order and committing criminal behaviour.’
Het Belang asks for ‘a resolute and consistent application of existing legislation’ and the issuing of GAS fines. ‘Vlaams Belang strongly advocates a consistent and strict anti-nuisance policy with regard to persistent nuisance offenders.’ Vlaams Belang calls on the city council to tackle the problems and not let them degenerate. “Make the Gavers unattractive to amok makers!”
Vlaams Belang also gives some practical tips for the police: ‘The deployment of mobile units or police riders on horseback should therefore be possible to allow the police to restore public order.’ In addition, the party advocates ‘targeted and periodic road checks during peak times to and from the Gavers’ in order to discourage ‘alcohol or drug use and/or possession’.
‘Public transport companies should also be encouraged to take up their responsibilities. In this way, amok makers can be identified before they reach Geraardsbergen.’
Het Belang asks the city council to take the following measures: systematically announced identity checks, a temporary or permanent ban on seating, engaging conductors and security officers on high-risk bus rides, sufficient police capacity, a mobile police post, organizing targeted checks and engaging ANPR cameras.
‘Let Geraardsbergen play a progressive role here and show Flanders how to nip this problem in the bud from the ground up’, concludes the Interest.
We asked An Vervliet (N-VA) – deputy for the Province of East Flanders – and mayor Guido De Padt (Open Vld) for a response. As soon as it is in, we will publish it.