Fewer transit migrants since police started checks Author: MB

Belga
Tue 12/09/2017 - 12:18 MB The number of migrants sleeping in Brussels North railway station and the near-by Maximiliaan Park has fallen sharply since the police have been carrying out regular checks to look for illegal immigrants. The migrants that have been sleeping rough at the station and in the part are so-called “transit-migrants” who have come here en route to the UK.

As on Monday and last week the police carried out identity checks at Brussels North station and in the area in and around the Maximiliaan Park. Those that are in the country illegally and haven’t applied for asylum here are detained.

It is reported that in recent days 160 such migrants have been detained by police. Some of them have been taken to secure migrant detention centres.

The not-for-profit group Humain told VRT News that there are noticeably fewer migrant in and around the station and the park.

"It is clear that people are being deterred by the many police checks. It is not only in the station that checks are being carried out. We have even noticed that people are taken out of the queue while they waiting for breakfast. We think that this is inhumane".

Fewer migrants, but checks will carry on

The Interior Minister Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist) confirms that the number of migrants in and around Brussels North has fallen.

VRT

"Previously there was a growth in numbers in the area and since we have been carrying out check there has been a drastic reduction. I think that the deterrent is working. The human trafficking networks are noticing it too and they are not offering their services as much as they did”, Mr Jambon (photo) said.

This of course begs the question of where the migrants that have not been detained, but have left the station or the park have gone. Has the problem not simply been displaced? Mr Jambon says that he doesn’t yet know. However, he says that the situation is being monitored and if issues emerge elsewhere checks will be carried out there too.

Meanwhile, the police will continue to carry out checks at the station.