Additional oversight should ban automakers from rink (Herentals)

Outside security, regular police supervision and camera surveillance should provide users of the ice rink in Sport Vlaanderen with a carefree skating session on Friday evening.© Sports Flanders

Herentals

Sport Vlaanderen will deploy outside security personnel and camera surveillance on Friday evening to ensure that the free skating session takes place in peace. In recent weeks, there have been incidents of hooligans. “Sport should take precedence.”

Hans Otten

Sport Vlaanderen, the city of Herentals and the local police of the Neteland region will provide extra supervision in and around the skating rink of the sports complex in Vorselaarsebaan on Friday evening. During the Friday night free skating sessions, there have been accidents several times in recent weeks with the same group of youngsters each time. According to eyewitnesses, it is about a group of more than fifteen teenagers and young adults, who seem to enjoy harassing other skaters and causing a nuisance.

That turned into a violent altercation last Friday when bystanders wanted to call out the mess makers. The youths left only when the police arrived at the scene. Or rather: having hastily removed their skates, the aggressive ones took off, some even on their socks.

“The investigation into the incidents that occurred last Friday is still ongoing,” said Acting Chief Constable Dirk van Beer of Netland Police District. In addition, we also want to provide additional supervision on Friday evening. Concretely, we want to be there tomorrow, but this is more about preventing something from happening than about intervening when something does. This presence is protective. But there is certainly no intention of sending a team of us out there every Friday. We want to contribute to increasing supervision. But in fact, it is up to Sport Vlaanderen itself to take the necessary safety measures. Necessary agreements have been reached on this matter.”

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External security agents

“There have already been consultations with the city of Herentals and the police about the problem,” says spokesman Bram Van Bossuyt of Sport Vlaanderen. “It appeared that there would be additional oversight and heightened vigilance from all parties involved. There would also be additional oversight of the rink itself. We are deploying outside security agents there. But we want to make sure there were no problems for the rest of the week. So the events were limited to Friday. past, after which immediate action was taken.”

Another measure is the installation of surveillance cameras. This would make it possible to identify defectors (more quickly) when problems arose again. The Friday evening free skating session is one of the busiest moments on the ice rink at the Herental complex of Sport Vlaanderen. “At Sport Vlaanderen we see our mission as giving people the opportunity to play sports. It must take precedence. These were incidents that do not belong to sport. All these measures of enhanced supervision together should make it possible to look positively into the future and give families an enjoyable ski session again says Bram van Bossuyt.

Amber Webster

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