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European Journal of Criminology
10(3) 314 –325
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Local political leadership
and the governance of urban
security in Belgium and the
Leiden University, The Netherlands
In this paper, the meaning of the ‘governance of security’ in Belgium and the Netherlands will
be explored. It is argued that the role of the mayor is substantial in both countries. This is why
this article focuses explicitly on the political leadership of the mayor. The first section provides
a comparison between Belgium and the Netherlands, contrasting their different constitutional-
legal settlements and the relationship of these two cultures of control in the two countries. The
consequences for which authorities and actors are ‘responsibilized’ for undertaking strategies of
urban security governance are discussed. In a following section, the paper examines the current
and potential challenges for governing urban security across both countries. In the final section,
the dilemma of politics and science as drivers of policy responses to urban security problems is
considered, identifying in particular certain deficits in mayoral expertise and training. The paper
concludes that, despite a common tendency in comparative politics to group the ‘Low Countries’
together (given their strong historical and cultural connections), a powerful contrast is highlighted
between the effects of federal and unitary constitution-legal settlements on policy responses to
Constitution-legal settlements, governance, mayor, political leadership, urban security
In Belgium, with 3 regions, 27 judicial districts, 11 provinces and 195 police zones,
urban governance is closely embedded at the local level (Van Outrive et al., 1992). The
mayor in Belgium is an independent political figure, with every municipality being more
Elke Devroe, Institute for Criminal Law & Criminology, Leiden Law School, Leiden University, 2311 ES
Leiden, The Netherlands.
473544EUC10310.1177/1477370812473544European Journal of CriminologyDevroe
autonomous from national government direction than is the case in the Netherlands. The
mayor in Belgium directs the (local) police to act close to citizens and to practise com-
munity-oriented policing. In the Netherlands, the tendency is towards greater centraliza-
tion, with the implementation of one national police force and limited influence of
municipal mayors over the direction of local police work. In the Netherlands, prevention
and integral security projects are mostly situated within police forces, and not, as in
Belgium, under the direct leadership of the mayor. As a consequence, steering urban
government is a complex task for the Dutch mayor, with such limited control over the
national police force. Although Dutch mayors have limited influence over local police
work, they do posses significant powers to influence other aspects of municipal govern-
ment that are relevant for tackling problems of urban security. The paper uses these
contrasting constitutional-legal settlements as a means of understanding contrasts in the
policy response to problems of urban security, the authorities responsible for this response
and tensions between political and scientific drivers of urban security.
Contrasting constitutional-legal settlements and
cultures of control
Recognition of the specificities of the constitutional-legal settlement of the Belgian state
facilitates an understanding of the evolving meaning of ‘governing urban security’ in this
country. As a consequence of the transformation of the national state in 1988, Belgium
became a federal state. Given this historical evolution of the Belgian federal state and its
division into, and enmities between, Flemish/Dutch-, German- and French-speaking
community councils and the regional governments of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-
Capital, these regional authorities have developed different approaches to urban security,
including their selective importation of ideas from other countries, including the
Netherlands, the UK and Canada. A key consequence of the 1988 Federal Constitution
has been a shift in the balance of power from national to regional and municipal authori-
ties (Ponsaers and Devroe, 2008). Only a few policy domains remained exclusively in
the hands of the federal government. One of these was a steering role in the maintenance
of public order (police) and law enforcement (justice). Otherwise, those competencies
relating to social policy, more specifically education, employment, health, living condi-
tions, culture, housing and spatial planning, etc., became the responsibility of the regional
governments. This settlement established a tension between federal government policies
on criminal justice responses to crime and other problems of urban security and regional
government responses that privilege social policy responses to the perceived causes and
prevention of these problems.
Whereas federal and regional authorities retain responsibility for formulating these
contrasting policy responses, policy implementation is the responsibility of the munici-
pal authorities (Devroe and Ponsaers, 2005). To draw upon a common distinction made
in the study of governance between ‘steering’ and ‘rowing’, regional authorities steer
social policy responses (policy formulation, agenda-setting, allocation of resources, etc.)
to quality of life issues, federal authorities steer law enforcement and the maintenance of
316 European Journal of Criminology 10(3)
public order, and municipal authorities are obliged to row both criminal justice and social
policy approaches. Consequently, it is at the municipal level that these competing federal
and regional responses are negotiated, hence the critical importance of mayoral political
leadership in determining the outcomes of competing, often contradictory, policy agen-
das in their local jurisdictions. The basic features of this settlement are summarized in
Within this settlement, mayors derive their authority from local elections, which priv-
ileges a popular-democratic approach to the definition of policy agendas for urban secu-
rity the outcome of a significant variability between the agendas pursued in different
municipalities. Some mayors are very active in the development of urban (security)
policy, others have exercised their discretion to limit their involvement; some formulate
more repressive agendas whereas others have promoted an approach to prevention that is
more oriented to social policy. In Belgium, mayors are chosen not because of their exper-
tise in urban security management but because of their political mandate.1 In addition to
significant ideological differences, it is possible to identify a negation of other kinds of
knowledge about urban security management, such as social research findings and
A number of problems of urban security have been prioritized on these agendas. The
population of the big cities increased rapidly during the second half of the 1990s as a
result of migration, unemployment in rural areas, poverty and greater social mobility (De
Decker, 1994; Noppe and Lodewijckx, 2012). Although this population growth was seen
as the most important motor for economic growth, the local financial need for additional
resources to tackle the negative consequences of urbanization increased accordingly. The
federal government cannot command municipalities to pursue its policy agenda, but it
has sought to influence municipal authorities by offering ‘prevention contracts’ that pro-
vide additional grant aid to those municipalities agreeing to implement its priorities. For
example, the Belgian Federal Minister of the Interior agreed to sign contracts with up to
40 cities (Willekens, 2008) following the approval, in 1992, of the federal government’s
report into ‘Security of the citizen, police and security’ (Veiligheid van de Burger, Politie
en Veiligheid).2 The arrangement consisted of a contract between the federal government
Figure 1. Constitutional-legal settlement of urban security policy in Belgium.
and the mayor, in which the city proposed a preventive programme (often in collabora-
tion with the local police), which was monitored and subsidized by the federal govern-
ment after approval. As all cities were encountering significant pressures on public
expenditure at this time, these contracts provided much-needed additional financial sup-
port and none of the 40 bigger cities declined these contracts. As such, they provided a
means by which the Ministry of the Interior advanced its preventative approach to urban
security problems during the 1990s.
During this period, however, a first sweep of the federal government survey on vic-
timization and insecurity (the so-called ‘Security Monitor’) was launched in 1993 and
the findings from this identified a high level of feelings of insecurity among inhabitants.
These results were interpreted as implying a need for a broader approach to prevention
beyond the relatively narrow construction of security in terms of criminal law enforce-
ment and repressive maintenance of order. The principal consequence of this was the
promotion of local ‘integral’ security policies requiring the involvement of other actors
in preventive strategies (for example, outreach workers, street-corner workers, coaches,
mediators). This led, in 1998, to the establishment of ‘preventive and societal contracts’
that broadened the policy agenda to include welfare- and health-related issues, such as
drug and alcohol addiction, in addition to a concern with law enforcement. Although the
federal government adopted an ‘integral security policy’ in 2004, which explicitly recog-
nized the relevance of social policy responses to problems of crime and the quality of life
in Belgian cities, its policy agenda continued to prioritize investment in a narrower focus
on the repression and prevention of crime and disorder, privileging the role of the police
and justice agencies in accordance with their constitutional competencies.
At this time, the regional governments also began to adopt the concept of ‘urban secu-
rity’, but prioritized a different approach. They argued that crime and disorder had their
roots in social problems, such as (ethnic) discrimination, high levels of unemployment,
precarious housing and living conditions and the decline of social cohesion in the city
centres (Ponsaers and Devroe, 2012). This concept implied a more encompassing policy
agenda than just prevention and/or repression of crime and disorder. It acknowledged the
responsibilities of citizens and of other actors both in the response to problems of crime
and disorder but also in terms of improving the ‘quality of life’ in Belgian cities. Social
disorder, aggression, a sense of insecurity, the exodus of the middle class from the city,
the arrival of asylum seekers and other ethnic groups, problems of city vandalism, dam-
age to buildings, etc., were defined by the regions as ‘quality of life’ problems that were
embedded in the economic and social conditions of Belgian cities and not as stand-alone
security problems remediable through policing and criminal justice interventions alone.
In turn, this broadening of the policy agenda can be understood in terms of the constitu-
tional-legal settlement granting regional governments authority in social policy-making
allied to their interest in increasing their influence over, and reformulation of, the secu-
rity agenda. ‘Governing urban security’ for the regions meant contributing to a healthy,
durable, attractive and safe living environment, where citizens participate in their own
well-being and where equality and social justice are guaranteed for every citizen. General
well-being is accentuated in this context, not the more restricted aspect of ‘security’.
This analytical focus on the constitutional-legal settlement helps to explain the apparent
anomaly of how federal administrations comprising social democratic and liberal parties
318 European Journal of Criminology 10(3)
– ordinarily associated with an ideological preference for social policy responses to
problems of crime and quality of life – nonetheless advanced urban security policies
prioritizing criminal law enforcement and punitive responses to offending behaviour, as
demonstrated by the proportion of funding allocated to law enforcement and punitive
interventions in their integral security contracts with municipal authorities.
This analytical approach also informs an understanding of the variegated and often
contradictory outcomes of urban security polices in Belgian municipalities as mayors
seek to reconcile competing federal and regional government agendas with the prefer-
ences of their own political parties and local electorates, while retaining their access to
the governing resources (in particular financial support and political legitimacy) pro-
vided by these various interests. As a consequence, urban security is often characterized
by a pragmatic balancing of different perspectives, depending on the different political
majorities and coalitions that comprise specific City Councils during particular terms of
A further influence on the local outcomes of urban security policies is the position of
the public prosecutor. Prosecutors are required to have no party political affiliation and
are charged with seeking social justice for the perpetrator, victim and society (Crawford,
1997). The mayor and the public prosecutor discuss local policies in the local security
board.3 Every four years, the police prepare a ‘Policy Plan’ that has to be approved by
both the public prosecutor and the mayor. Through this instrument, a strong collabora-
tion between the different actors is guaranteed by law. Empirical research findings com-
paring the concrete activities of this board show that in some districts they are very
dynamic and active (mostly in the big cities) and in rural municipalities the functioning
is much more modest (Devroe et al., 2004). These differences can be explained by means
of resources and of (the lack of) belief in bargaining and consultation of (some) members
of this zonal security board. The work of these boards is currently affected by the auster-
ity restrictions on public expenditure that are faced by other West European states
(Edwards and Hughes, 2012). The difference between the Flemish and the Wallonian
localities can be explained by the contrast between the relatively affluent Flemish cities
and the more austere economic conditions found in Wallonia.
By contrast, the Netherlands is not a federal state, nor is it currently divided by the kind
of linguistic and cultural pressures on national government found in Belgium. The Dutch
national state retains a steering role across the breadth of criminal justice and social
policy, as illustrated in the diagrammatic representation of the constitutional-legal settle-
ment underpinning urban security policy-making in the Netherlands (see Figure 2).
Within this settlement, urban security policy-making is centralized in the Dutch
national state and, prior to the party politicization of this issue during the 2000s, was
driven primarily by the civil service. Even so, the definition of ‘integral security’ by vari-
ous national administrations has been sufficiently broad to grant municipal authorities a
significant degree of discretion in setting local policy agendas. Although the mayors of
Dutch municipalities are not directly elected but are appointed by the national government
for six-year terms,4 and are not consequently subject to the direct popular-democratic
pressures that Belgian mayors are, almost all of them are members of a political party,
usually the majority party on the City Council, and this can influence the execution of
their administrative responsibilities. Significantly, mayors have the duty of implement-
ing national integral security policies in their municipalities and some, notably mayor
Opstelten in Rotterdam and mayor Cohen in Amsterdam, have used this position to shape
local policy agendas in accordance with their ideological predilections, by privileging
the more repressive or social-policy-oriented aspects of national policy.
It is possible to identify key turning points in the dominant orientation of national
policies on urban security. A transformation from a (more) preventive policy towards a
more punitive response can be observed in the 1990s. In order to integrate different
aspects of governing urban security during the 1990s, the national Dutch policy opted for
an integral security policy advocated in the aftermath of the Roethof Commission on
Petty Crime (Roethof, 1984). This resulted in a White Paper in 1986.5 The main purpose
of this influential Commission was to implement measures in the domain of crime pre-
vention (Van Swaaningen, 2005). In the slipstream of these activities, a second White
paper followed, entitled Society and Criminality (1985). A few years later, the idea of an
Integral Security Report (1993) was promoted, prioritizing incivilities as an important
factor in the quality of life in cities. During the 1990s, issues of urban security occupied
a more prominent place in both national and local politics. In addition, feelings of inse-
curity and anxiety grew as many social problems were interpreted in terms of ethnic
divisions. According to Van Swaaningen (2005), it became an exception for there to be
no reference to ethnicity in debates on nuisance, youth gangs, terrorism, abuse of social
benefits, etc. The urgency of tackling incivilities was thus strongly connected with the
increasing problem of immigrant, ethnic minority youngsters, gathering in groups in
After shocking incidents such as the assassination of the popular right-wing political
leader Pim Fortuyn in 2002 (Terpstra, 2007), ‘governing urban security’ became a highly
politicized issue in the Netherlands. This shift was already visible before Fortuyn’s party
(LDF) claimed, in 2002, to be The Party of Law and Order, coining the term ‘liveability’
Figure 2. Constitutional-legal settlement of urban security policy in the Netherlands.
320 European Journal of Criminology 10(3)
(leefbaarheid) as a buzzword on the political agenda (Van Swaaningen, 2005). The
White Paper Tackling Crime (2001) argued for stricter and more severe controls on
behaviour in public spaces. The notion of prevention through social policy interventions
diminished as greater emphasis was placed on a more repressive orientation to the main-
tenance of public order and criminal law enforcement.
Although street warrants already existed from the 1980s, the Dutch government in the
1990s was still rather reluctant about using the private sector for street patrol activities.
From 2000, politicians became increasingly critical of the police and local government
for inadequately fulfilling their duties to investigate crime and maintain public order.
This insight led to the establishment of supra-regional investigative teams and perfor-
mance contracts with a strong focus on remittance notes and performance management
of detective work. From 2000 onwards, the possibilities for private security work in the
field of delinquency became more prominent (Terpstra, 2007). Apart from the position of
the police, the private security industry also gained an important place in local partner-
ships for urban security in the Netherlands.
In this context, a number of municipal mayors struggled to form stable governing
coalitions, because 36 out of a total of 460 were compelled to step down from office dur-
ing the period 2002–5 (Korsten and Aardema, 2006). Only very strong political figures
such as mayor Opstelten in Rotterdam (former ‘informateur’ and in 2012 Minister of
Justice and Security) and mayor Cohen in Amsterdam, who was secretary of state in the
Ministry of Justice and professor in Law, succeeded in advancing their political agendas
in the face of an increasingly fragmented and volatile local politics of urban security. The
agenda-setting of Rotterdam, the origin of Pim Fortuyn’s party, complemented the
national tendency towards an increasingly punitive approach, with Amsterdam providing
a notable liberal counterweight. More recently, this repressive tendency was confirmed
by the Law on incivilities and measures against football hooliganism of 2010, which
provided the mayor with an extra set of tools against disorderly behaviour and incivilities
in the cities.6
Current and potential challenges for governing urban
In analysing both the actual and potential challenges for governing urban security in
Belgium and the Netherlands a series of observations can be made.
First of all, the challenge of developing an integral policy in each city persists, as
the actors in the domain of public order and quality of life expand. The latest statement
by the Belgian government (2011) stipulated that more and more competences will be
delegated to the regions.7 As a consequence of that, still more actors will operate at a
city level. The mayor has the challenging job of integrating different kinds of policy
actors and approaches (for example, youth workers, social workers, city coaches, stew-
ards) in a context where it is becoming harder to forge a consensus around policy
agendas for urban security. A particular focus for political competition over urban
security is the use of public space and decreasing tolerance for ‘incivilities’, such as
obstructive car parking, the taking over of public routes by bar owners placing chairs
and tables on sidewalks, throwing litter on the streets, rowdy groups of juveniles,
beggars blocking the entrances to railway stations, shopping malls and banks, drug and
alcohol users occupying public squares, skaters blocking the entrance to the library,
even the occupation of park benches by the elderly (Devroe, 2008)!
Considering these frictions, my own interview-based research with Belgian politi-
cians and administrators uncovered the increasing priority given to intergenerational
conflicts over the use of public places on local policy agendas for urban security (Devroe,
2012). A possible driver of this conflict is the changing demography of Belgium, and
other West European countries, towards an ageing population more anxious about, and
subsequently less tolerant of, young people’s use of the public sphere.8
A second challenge is associated with migratory population flows and especially the
increasing number of asylum seekers and migrants from other parts of Europe in the big-
ger cities. After the Samira incident in Belgium,9 the policy on welcoming foreigners
changed into a soft, open policy where foreigners who were staying in Belgium could
more easily gain Belgian citizenship. The migration of Europeans seeking economic secu-
rity in the richer countries and of non-EU citizens seeking asylum expanded enormously,
not only in Belgium but also in the Netherlands (Van Swaaningen, 2005). However, in the
context of the current economic and financial crisis confronting many European states,
where governments are increasing taxation while reducing public expenditure to address
sovereign debt problems, policies promoting greater migration and mobility are becoming
more unpopular. In this context, tensions between established and migrant populations are
increasing and this is being exploited by political parties of the extreme right wing (in
Belgium Vlaams Belang, in the Netherlands Wilders’ PVV) with slogans to exclude these
groups from living in both countries. The Netherlands contrasts with Belgium in this
regard: in dealing with incivilities, foreigners are removed to places where they are less of
a nuisance, or are deported to the country from which the authorities think they have come
(Downes and Van Swaaningen, 2007; Van Swaaningen, 2005).
In summary, tensions associated with intergenerational use of public space and with
new migrants moving into cities are the most pressing challenges for urban security poli-
tics in both countries. However, contrasting the constitutional-legal settlements in
Belgium and the Netherlands helps us to understand the diversity of policy responses to
these challenges at the municipal level.
Politics and science as vocations? Deficits in mayoral
expertise and training
In negotiating this increasingly volatile political environment for urban security, a pos-
sible resource for municipal mayors is social scientific expertise on crime, disorder and
prevention. However, this presumes that such expertise can be employed within the pol-
icy-making process in order to act as a counterweight to punitive populism. For this to
occur within Belgian and Dutch municipalities there needs to be a greater understanding
of the contribution of social science amongst the mayoral and City Council leadership in
urban security policies. Currently research suggests, however, that mayors have had no
specific training in ‘managing urban security’, or in steering competences (Cachet et al.,
2008), or in management in general or in strategic planning. This is because no specific
322 European Journal of Criminology 10(3)
expertise is required for mayors. As a consequence, their political vocation and mandate
often act as a cipher for punitive populism.
This is more the case in Belgium than in the Netherlands. By separating facts from
values in politics, Weber (1958) focused on the distinction between objective sources
and personal political views. In the Netherlands, mayors are executors, with no spe-
cific training (Sackers, 2010). However, there is greater investment in staff and infor-
mation and communication technology in the Netherlands than in Belgium, although
this has not been evaluated systematically. We might infer that, being more of a tech-
nocrat in the Netherlands, a Dutch mayor can more easily differentiate between evi-
dence-based material (often produced at a national level) and political influences
stemming from the City Council. On the other hand, being appointed by the national
government, Dutch mayors may be more influenced by central government plans than
their Belgian colleagues.
In Belgium, the Minister of the Interior offered some basic tools for urban security
management to the mayors, in particular the ‘local security diagnostic’, a handbook on
how to develop an analysis of the environment, and a guideline for ‘integral and inte-
grated policy’. Both instruments were only partially implemented, owing to the fact (1)
it was not mandatory and (2) the Minister of the Interior has – after the state transforma-
tion in 1988 – no capacity to compel local municipalities to act on such federal govern-
Relatedly, a scientific research project concluded that local integral security policy
in Belgium generally lacked coherence and a clear rationale (Bauwens et al., 2011). In
an analysis of policies in the cities of Antwerp (Flemish region) and Liège (Walloon
region), major differences were observed between the Flemish- and the French-speaking
parts of the country (Devroe, 2012). In the Flemish government, far more tools were
developed at the regional level and handed over to the mayor than in the French-
speaking part. In practice, it depends on whether the mayor has in-house expertise
(managers, criminologists, sociologists, economists and statisticians) to elaborate a
solid policy plan for the mayor. Again, the big cities can afford these kinds of special-
ized employees, but the smaller cities cannot. It is too early to measure the effects of the
recent pressure on public expenditure following the latest municipal elections of
October 2012, but it is likely to lead to a big contrast in professionalism in governing
urban security depending on the availability of such resources. Hitherto, however, the
comparison of Antwerp and Liège suggests that investment in in-house expertise can
have a significant effect on the promotion of evidence-based policy-making driven
more by social scientific expertise. Even so, the broader picture and overwhelming
tendency is that mayors do not employ evidence-based approaches to policy-making
(Devroe, 2010b). Empirical research shows that no theoretical concepts substantiate the
programmes developed to tackle crime and incivilities (Devroe, 2012). Mayors do not
integrate academic studies on urban crime and incivilities into their governing pro-
grammes. The situation is worse in Belgium than in the Netherlands, because Belgium
does not make use of experimental research results, stating only whether a certain pro-
gramme ‘works’ or ‘does not work’ (Devroe, 2010b). In the Netherlands, experimental
studies exist, and for financing a new project in some cases you need certification (given
by a Commission) that the previous programme worked, but the use of such academic
material and evidence remains rather modest (Klee et al., 2007).
In a policy context increasingly dominated by punitive populist responses to intergenera-
tional conflicts and anxieties about migrant populations (both within the EU as well as
immigration from outside member states), a key question for further research is how
evidence-based approaches can realistically be accomplished. This is not, of course, a
problem limited to the Belgian and Dutch contexts but, nonetheless, a key lesson from
the experience of evidence-based policy-making in these countries is the identification
and targeting of key policy actors, such as municipal mayors, who are capable of acting
as catalysts for policy change and learning. A particular advantage of the conceptual
approach adopted in this paper is that through comparative analysis of constitutional-
legal settlements it is possible to identify potential catalysts, to consider both how prob-
lems of urban security are actually governed and how else they could be governed.
In addition to determining responsibilities for urban security, these contrasting consti-
tutional-legal settlements help explain the influence of scientific expertise on the policy
response to problems of urban security. The contrast between Dutch and Belgian munici-
palities suggests that the political leadership of elected mayors in Belgian municipalities
has marginalized the input of scientific expertise to the policy process, for example in
terms of ‘what works’ in crime prevention. This is because this information does not
exist and only scarce government funding is invested in scientific research in Belgium
(Devroe, 2010a). In contrast, scientific expertise has been more evident in the Netherlands,
where significant scientific research bodies such as the Research and Documentation
Centre (WODC) and the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law
Enforcement (NSCR) are financed by the government, and it is within the cultural tradi-
tions to steer on an evidence-based basis. Because mayors are appointed by the national
government in the Netherlands, they can easily access these national scientific sources.
Last but not least, because mayors are more technocrats than politicians, they are more
insulated from party political competition and probably more open to scientific advice.
However, the urban security policy of mayors in the Netherlands is more influenced by
the national policy, is more steered by the central state, uses more scientific resources
provided from the central state and is more distant from the (national) police force, leav-
ing the mayor with less power over local police resources in order to execute the local
policy. Of course, strong professional figures such as Cohen and Opstelten can, because
of their political expertise and their intellectual background, counterbalance national
influences in advancing their own policy agendas, but this is rather rare and in the
increasingly volatile politics of urban security a number of Dutch mayoral terms of office
have failed over the past decade.
1. In Belgium we find all kinds of occupations amongst mayors such as butchers, bartenders,
salesmen and insurance agents. Rarely are mayors scientists or experts in urban policy.
324 European Journal of Criminology 10(3)
2. Independently of the federal policy, the regional governments developed a similar strategy in
the framework of contracts for urban development with the bigger cities, avoiding the mention
of security issues.
3. A zone can cover one or more municipalities, with an average of three municipalities.
4. The appointment procedure in the Netherlands was raised for discussion in the early 2000s,
because some of the political parties (represented in parliament) regarded the procedure
as undemocratic. Alternatives proposed were direct election of the mayor by the people or
appointment by the City Council. A constitutional change to allow for this failed to pass the
Senate in March 2005.
5. Final report from the Commission on Petty Crime (Commissie Kleine Criminaliteit), 1986.
6. For example, the mayor can impose a territorial ban (gebiedsverbod), a group ban (groepsverbod) or
compulsory registration at a police station (meldingsplicht) on persons acting in a disorderly man-
ner in public space. Article 172b brings together a number of measures against youngsters under
12 years old, such as a curfew and compulsory parental support. Youngsters exhibiting uncivil
behaviour can, as in Britain, receive an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) (Koemans, 2010).
7. The new government was installed on 6 December 2011, with Di Rupo as Prime Minister. Di
Rupo’s governmental programme was established in December 2011.
8. This is a general European trend; see http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu (accessed 25 November 2012).
9. This Nigerian asylum seeker had to return to her country after a negative assessment by the
Refugee Commission. She died on the airplane that repatriated her on 22 September 1998, as a
result of the force used by policemen.
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