Survey: Nearly 1 in 2 Brussels residents carry ‘means of self-defense’

Nearly one in every two residents living in Brussels, Belgium now carries a ‘means of self-defense’ on their person, a new survey has revealed.

The poll, carried out by the Brussels–Prevention & Security (BPV) service, revealed that 44 percent of residents living in the Belgian capital carry a ‘means of defense’, with 38 percent actually carrying some kind of weapon, Belgian radio station Bruzz reports.

The survey questioned a total of 1801 residents, 401 commuters, and 200 tourists about their overall sense of security in Brussels.

Of those surveyed, 44 percent reported carrying a ‘means of self-defense’ with them at all times while in the city while 14 percent reported taking a self-defense course.

38 percent of survey respondents reported carrying real weapons such as knives, forest brackets, air pistols, and extendable batons to protect themselves against violence.

Meanwhile, 18 percent of those polled reported carrying some sort of defensive weapon such as pepper spray. 

While some have chosen to carry weapons or other means of self-defense while they’re in the city, others have decided to avoid Brussels all together. In fact, 15 percent of inhabitants and commuters said they prefer not to travel through Brussels on foot or by the metro at night.

“We are shocked by these figures,” BPV stated in its report.

Belgium’s major cities have become havens for illegal migrants, and as a result, crime has increased, causing many to feel unsafe. 

Earlier this month in Antwerp, a 15-year-old boy was beaten so badly by a group of immigrant men that he had to be hospitalized.

Just days after, an 88-year-old woman died at a hospital in Antwerp after having her throat cut on the street by an immigrant man.