Private security agents to return to streets of capital
By David Thinnes
Private security companies will once again watch over Luxembourg’s Gare district, with a new additional team patrolling the upper town, the capital's mayor said on Tuesday.
It comes after a longstanding clash between Luxembourg City’s Mayor Lydie Polfer and Internal Security Minister Henri Kox over who should maintain public order on the streets of the capital.
Polfer hired a private security firm back in 2019 to patrol the drugs- and prostitution-plagued Gare area, saying she was responding to residents' complaints that the police had ignored. The spat reached a zenith when a dog used by one of the private squads bit a man, leading Kox to say deploying private security could be illegal.
Private security agents, who were withdrawn from the Gare last year, will return within the coming year but no date has yet been set, the Luxemburger Wort reported.
After the agents were removed from the Gare drug crime shifted to the upper town, mainly to Hamilius and the pirate ship park, due to increased police presence at the Gare, Polfer previously said.
A total of €600,000 has been allocated for private security within the 2023 budget - the same amount as was allocated this year.
In October, Luxembourg launched a recruitment drive to hire 200 new police officers in each of the next five years.
Around a third of people living in Luxembourg have fallen victim to robbery or fraud over the past five years, a study published last month by the statistics office showed. A total of 28% of residents experienced robberies – some violent robberies – or consumer fraud while 31% of households were subject to burglary, vehicle theft or bank card fraud -up slightly from 2013, when the previous survey was carried out, Statec said.
(Translated by Andréa Oldereide)
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