Brussels - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

No. - Feb 2023

While there were security concerns while we were there, like in much of Europe, it was a safe city. That said, we did have things taken out of our car several times, though partly our fault for not locking it. Some areas of Brussels are less safe than others. - Jan 2022

Pick-pocketing is big in Brussels (as in any other European city). You have to be aware of your surroundings. I never had anything stolen, but I know people at the Embassy who did. Break-ins are also a concern, both in cars and in homes. Housing comes with security systems, which a lot of people never used. We always set ours when out of the house or at night, and we never had an issue. - Oct 2021

There some parts of Brussels that is limited for embassy community but otherwise it is safe. - Sep 2020

Some parts of the city are known not to be great and we are warned to stay away at night. Petty thefts like pickpocketing can be high in touristy areas and trains. General vigilance is recommended, but it feels quite safe. - Sep 2020

It's very safe here. You can walk around outside at night and really not worry at all. Lots of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially at the train stations and metro stations, but the rate of violent crime is extremely low. Some Embassy staff members' homes or apartments have been broken into. Use your alarm. - Mar 2020

Not really. The typical pick pockets and purse swipes. Just be aware of surroundings as there have been terrorist bombings in the past. - Feb 2019

We had a terrible terrorist attack in March 2016. There are unsavory elements here still, so one needs to practice personal security and remain vigilant. Furthermore, I've heard there have been residential break-ins in mission housing and the occasional petty theft. - Feb 2019

Like any big city in the 21st century. There have been well-publicized terrorist issues in the past, but normal, everyday life is primarily about being smart re: pick-pockets and smash-and-grab car thefts. The latter happens frequently to those who leave tempting things in plain site. - May 2018

Violent crime is relatively rare here, but property crime is sadly not. Lock your house, don't leave stuff visible in your car, take the usual anti-pickpocket precautions. - Jan 2018

Be aware of pick pockets for sure. Don't go through your purse while on the metro platform, and keep your purse on the floor while driving! I was told that in some areas, your window could get smashed if stopped in traffic with your bag on the passenger seat. - Feb 2017

There have been terrorist attacks in Belgium and Europe - and the pace and pressure you feel is increasing. The police continue to make arrests of terrorists in certain Brussels neighborhoods. You will become used to seeing armed soldiers in public places, metro stations, etc. Additionally, there are many many beggars on the streets and public places. Some are more desperate than others. You must keep up your situational awareness and avoid crowds. - Dec 2016

Crime has gone up during our six years here due to the economic challenges Europe, East Europe, and Africa are experiencing. People come here from all over the world looking for work and there is none so they turn to crime to get by. Beggars on the streets and metros have also increased. However, in most neighborhoods, I feel very safe to walk alone. - Aug 2014

Pickpockets seem to be the worst problem. Don't put your bags on the ground while out and about or eating at restaurants. And there have been a couple of reports of car windows getting smashed so that they can steal bags left on the seats (sometimes while at a traffic light even!). - Jul 2014

Not in particular but there have been a few major demonstrations from local unions, fire service, etc that have turned a bit violent. - Apr 2014

Some on the Western side of the city but most expats live in the Central or Eastern communes. - Jan 2014

No, not really. - Jan 2014

No, but as the EU and NATO are based there, the security detail is more evident than in some other places. - Oct 2012

Some pickpocketing, muggings, smash and grabs. Caution needed in areas like Molenbeek and St Josse after dark. - May 2012

Not really any more than any other major city. The usual pick pockets in touristy areas. - Jan 2012

Pickpocketing capital of Western Europe - Nov 2011

Brussels is a typical big city. There is a great deal of petty crime - pickpocketing, etc. But in general I feel very safe walking around the city. - Aug 2011

The city is incredibly safe. Violent crime is negligible. Petty crime, such as pick pockets do exist, but you can protect against that. No city is 100% safe, and there are certain immigrant neighborhoods across the canal where you would not want to go at night, but as with most European cities, the threat of violent crime is incredibly low in comparison to cities in the US. - Jul 2011

Nil - I feel very safe here tho belgian friends are always warning me against using public transport in the evening. - Jun 2011

No more than any big city - Jun 2011

There are parts of the city that are very unsafe, but you are unlikely to go there. Beatings and violent robberies occur occasionally. Petty crime and property crime are common. In the summer, watch out for packs of young boys with nothing to do. - Jun 2010

Pickpockets. - Jun 2010

Same as any big city - petty theft, pickpocketing, and there have been some burglaries. - Mar 2010

No. Belgium is very safe. - Jul 2009

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