“The first role of the state and the municipalities is to guarantee the safety and security of their citizens. There is a huge lack of security at the railway station, in its neighbourhood and in Bonnevoie, but this is not a new phenomenon”, said the mayor of the City of Luxembourg, Lydie Polfer, in the Chamber of Deputies during a news hour on public security.
The mayor of the capital, however, assured that the commune’s authorities have been doing everything possible for many years to improve the situation. However, this would not be as easy as it seems at first sight. To take just one example, drug-related offences alone have increased by more than 70% between 2018 and 2019. And on top of that, there are crimes and other offences. The police alone cannot provide a higher sense of security.
If you study the figures in detail, you will understand why the residents of the station area and Bonnevoie can no longer remain silent,” said Lydie Polfer. In 2019, a large assembly took place at the station with almost 800 people. On that occasion, they clearly showed their frustration with the situation in front of their homes and businesses. The Minister of Police at the time, François Bausch, reacted and 30 people were added to the group, comprising twenty police officers, eight people from the judicial police and two dog keepers. For a few months the situation improved, but unfortunately it did not last. After discussions with all the actors involved in mid-2020, it was soon clear that the situation was as bad as before. In November, Lydie Polfer was in the area with the minister responsible and can therefore understand very well how the citizens and shop owners feel.
“The private security company was our last resort and this is now causing controversy, knowing that the same situation has also existed for example in Differdange for the last 2 years. The police are also frustrated because unfortunately they cannot be everywhere at all times”, the deputy mayor regretted in the Chamber of Deputies. She also pointed out that security staff have been on duty in the municipal parks for years.
The DP supports Minister Kox’s initiative to increase the number of police officers, but we also know that it will take some time before they are on the streets. That is why we also request that the activities of private security companies are added to the 2002 law and that municipal officers can also play a more important role in supporting the police. In addition, the police should have more possibilities to intervene if people block entrances to buildings. But in this case, it is particularly important for the DP that appropriate social measures are adapted.