A restless New Year’s Eve in Ghent and Antwerp: dozens arrested and injured during unrest and fights
Around 3:40 a.m. on Sunday, the Antwerp police reported 25 administrative arrests for disturbing public order, in 10 cases they were minors. A person was also administratively arrested for drunkenness on the public highway.
But three people were also arrested by the courts, in one case for beating an agent, in another for carrying a weapon and in the last for a hearing in an open file.
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In various places, the Antwerp police had to disperse people and police vehicles were damaged.
In the north of the city, police were stoned, with young residents aiming stones at officers. So much so that the troublemakers had to be dispersed by the police using a pump car. In Deurne, the agents were also targeted. In the district of Ekeren, after midnight, young people also tried to set fire to a vandalized vehicle and set fire to bicycles.
In the heart of the city, on the Steenplein, many Antwerpers gathered to enjoy the New Year’s fireworks. But a man was seriously injured during the festivities by falling from a considerable height. The emergency services had great difficulty in reaching it because of the crowd. When the medical teams arrived, the victim, whose life is in danger, was unconscious and was taken to hospital.
The Antwerp region was punctuated by various fights, which resulted in injuries, some were even hospitalized.
Twenty-four arrests in Ghent on New Year’s Eve
The Ghent police were well solicited on New Year’s Eve with 24 administrative arrests. Thirty-one administrative fines (GAS) were also imposed for possession of pyrotechnic material. The emergency services were once the target of fireworks.
The local police received several nuisance calls concerning fireworks or various explosives. “We were present in the street, which allowed us to prevent certain incidents from escalating. Three bus shelters were damaged or destroyed,” commented a police spokesperson.
The police also had to intervene at places where fireworks were set off. She noted, in some places, a dangerous practice combining gasoline and fireworks. Thirty-one administrative fines were issued for possession of pyrotechnic material outside authorized hours. Apart from the time between midnight and one o’clock in the morning on Sunday, the possession of this type of device is prohibited until February 1, 2023, by order of the police. The fines amount to 175 euros for minors, double that for adults.
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