Pickpocketing on the increase

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Last year 38,000 people had their valuables stolen by pickpockets in Belgium – a 23% increase compared to 2008.

Federal police figures show that in all pickpockets claimed an average of 104 victims a day. The federal police attributes the new record to the presence of groups of pickpockets from eastern and southern Europe. Gang members are often members of the same family. Often minors are involved because children are released more easily by the authorities.

As a result of the economic crisis and a clamp down on street crime in London ahead of the Olympics part of the problem has shifted to Belgium.