Concern After Belgian Locals Threaten to Take Law into Own Hands over Migrant Delinquents

Migrants live in a park in the Belgian port city of Zeebrugge, on February 4, 2016. Some migrants are heading to the Belgian coast, to try and smuggle themselves on bound ferries to reach Britain. Belgian police are cracking down on migrants arriving in Zeebrugge, with more than 450 people …

Police in the Belgian coastal town of Zeebrugge have called for calm after members of the community threatened to take the law into their own hands over a series of robberies committed by delinquent illegal migrants.

The local residents of the small port, located just outside Bruges, have expressed outrage over an increased wave of robberies from cars and homes that have been attributed to illegal migrants, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

Police have warned the residents against confronting the illegal migrants, many of which sleep in local playgrounds and on the streets, saying that they should call them before acting and not to blame illegal migrants for all of the recent thefts in the area.

“It is dangerous to assume immediately that the thefts are the work of migrants,” police said.

The police line was echoed by Mayor Renaat Landuyt who urged residents to “immediately report suspicious situations to the police. That is and remains the only correct solution.”

Last week alone, a total of 63 illegal migrants were arrested in the village for various offences in and around the port area, according to the police.

The experience in Zeebrugge echoes others around Europe. Last month, the leader of the community of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos Nikos Trakellis warned that locals in his area were also becoming increasingly enraged by the actions of asylum seekers.

“We are all being duped here and in Europe. They’re making fun of us. The residents are ready to take the law into their own hands. We are trying to contain the local community, to preserve whatever social cohesion is left,” he said.

Residents in northern Paris also expressed their anger over thefts and harassment from underage illegal migrant street gangs, with 1,600 locals signing a letter demanding the local government take immediate action.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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