EU heartland under threat as Belgium named among most dangerous countries

Belgium has been named one of the most dangerous countries in Europe when it comes to criminal violence involving firearms. A number of studies published in recent weeks by the Flemish Peace Institute looked at the different scenarios in which gun violence is carried out.

When it comes to Belgium, the capital city of which is also the unofficial capital of the European Union, these studies highlighted drug trafficking is mostly responsible for the high rate of firearms-linked criminal violence.

The Flemish Peace Institute noted: “The accessibility of drugs via major ports has attracted criminal groups to import drugs into Europe.” It also resulted in heightened tensions between rival groups battling for territory and goods, the study added.

For their analyses, researchers used among other tools health data of men injured or killed by firearms in Europe.

The decision not to include women in the studies was taken after previous works of research noted that, in the vast majority of cases, gun crime involves young men under the age of 35.

READ MORE: Gunmen hold delivery driver hostage for 14 hours after he forgot their salad

The health data, which don’t take into account people who don’t seek treatment through official channels after becoming casualties of firearms, were cross-referenced with news reporting of violence and led to a better understanding of the context in which incidents are taking place across Europe.

Besides drug trafficking, the main scenarios in which guns are used for criminal purposes in Europe are armed robberies and gang incidents, the Flemish Peace Institute found.

When it comes to gun violence against men, Belgium ranks fourth in the European continent, with only Italy, Denmark and Sweden performing worse.

The studies shared by the Institute were published to coincide with the launch of, an EU-funded project aiming to prevent incidents by improving the visibility of firearms violence.

Don’t miss…
Heartstopping moment woman opens fire at police station in near-fatal meltdown[INSIGHT]
Boy, 11, rushed to hospital after being shot in woods with ‘party of adults'[REPORT]
Mother’s blood-curdling scream of ‘you shot my son’ after gun rampage[REPORT]

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Stressing action is needed to tackle gun violence in Belgium, on December 6 reports of a shooting in Brussels emerged.

The incident, which happened around 7.30pm local time on a busy road, left five injured, four of them by gunshot.

Prosecutors quickly ruled out the shooting was a terror attack. The mayor of the Brussels’ municipality of Ixelles said the incident was instead likely to be “part of an urban gang scenario”.

Source: Read Full Article