POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Street crime: Public safety concerns spiral



Archive photo shows an area of Bonnevoie in October 2020. At the end of 2020, the City authority contracted private security agents to support police, a measure which not all councillors support Maison moderne/archives

Archive photo shows an area of Bonnevoie in October 2020. At the end of 2020, the City authority contracted private security agents to support police, a measure which not all councillors support Maison moderne/archives

Violent robberies may not be on the rise in the capital, according to police, but that does little to ease the growing feeling of insecurity.

Parliament’s justice and internal security committees discussed safety in Luxembourg City on Thursday following a spate of violent muggings and gatherings that breach the health measures.

While minister for internal security Henri Kox (déi gréng) said that there was no significant change in the number of offences being reported, MPs stressed that the level of violence used in muggings and public sentiment about security should not be ignored.

Kox said that police had identified groups of criminals and made two arrests. MPs praised the work of police in difficult circumstances. Their strategy towards illegal gatherings was one of de-escalation, and avoiding the use of mass arrests or force.

Kox also added the council of state was examining the creation of a law that would prevent people from lingering at the entrance of private buildings.

Legal complaints from Déi Lénk

Meanwhile, according to our sister publication Paperjam, City councillors from Déi Lénk, Ana Correia Da Veiga and Guy Foetz, have filed two appeals with the administrative court against the use of private security companies by Luxembourg City to carry out public surveillance missions in the train station district and upper town. The solution was implemented in response to growing insecurity and strong public demand.

The commune wishes to extend the measure to Bonnevoie for a period continuing beyond 15 May, a contract for which has been signed with G4S. Foetz and Da Veiga believe the decision is illegal and unconstitutional. They argue using private security agents in the public domain constitutes an attack on state monopoly in exercising public force to uphold the law. They would prefer to see the funds spent on increasing numbers of police officers, policy prevention and assistance for drug addicts.

The first appeal is directed against the decisions of the minister of the interior Taina Bofferding (LSAP), the second against those of the City council executive.