Belgium is considered a reasonably safe country and is relatively free of violence, compared to its surrounding countries.
Petty theft is the most common crime that occurs, such as pick pocketing and purse snatching which happens mainly in the major cities. Thieves often linger in subways or train stations, so if you use one of these transportation hubs, make sure to watch out for groups of youths who prey on dazed, innocent tourists. Mobile phones and iPods are small, yet high priced items that are frequently stolen. Car theft is another problem, growing in Belgium, especially Brussels. Most of the felonies happen in the industrialized cities, rural areas in general are very safe.
Consequences of crime Whilst living or travelling in Belgium, you are required to abide by its laws, even if you are a citizen outside of the country. The legal system and criminal penalties may be very different to that of your home country. If your living in the U.S, you’ll notice how some things are legal in Belgium that are not yet legal in the Unites States, for example purchasing pirated products leads to prosecution in the U.S. Its essential to know what’s legal and illegal whilst staying in Belgium. If you infringe the laws, you are likely to be arrested or jailed. The penalties for using or owning illegal drugs are severely strict in Belgium and you should expect long prison sentences and fines. Human trafficking is a major crime; penalties for all forms of trafficking are up to 30 years imprisonment. You are required to carry identification at all times, if you are requested by Belgium police, you need to show ID, or you will face problems.
Victim of criminal offence info If you’ve been a victim of crime in Belgium, you must contact the nearby police and the embassy of your home country. If you’ve suffered any sort of violent offence such as rape or assault, you need to find medical care and consult the police. The local authorities will help you comprehend the criminal justice process and if needed, help to find a lawyer. Commission for victims can be provided by the Belgian ‘commission for financial assistance to victims of intentional acts of violence’ which will compensate under the circumstances. The emergency number in Belgium is 101 for police support. For any other emergencies call 112. If your passport has been stolen you should report it to the local police as soon as possible and attain a police report.
Security and Safety Terrorist incidents are very rare in Belgium. The law enforcement and cooperation with bordering countries, sustain a firm effort to defend against terrorism. Approval by police prior is compulsory for all protests and police are nearby to guarantee sufficient security for spectators and people involved. Protests take place occasionally for local or world events, but even quiet demonstrations become violent and chaotic, it’s well recommended to avoid them completely.