Information network to improve security at Antwerp port

Summary

The Antwerp port area’s new Neighbourhood Information Network is a sort of crimewatch involving police, business and customs

Port of Antwerp is susceptible to criminal activity

More than 450 companies active in the port of Antwerp have signed up for the creation of the Neighbourhood Information Network (BIN) to help improve safety in the harbour area. The port area, which covers 13,000 hectares, is vulnerable to criminal activity because of the wide range of legal traffic streams in and out and the vast contacts with both the European hinterland and overseas concerns.

The results are thefts, vandalism and environmental offences, according to Stanny De Vlieger, director of the federal judicial police in Antwerp. BIN, he said, will put companies in closer contact with police to report suspicious movements or activities; police can then send out messages to other companies warning them to be vigilant.

“Thanks to better information management,” said the Port Authority in a statement, “the police will be able to react more rapidly whenever suspect activities are noted, which will have a deterrent effect on people of criminal intent.”

Only last week police reported an increase in the amount of waste being dumped in the harbour deriving from the production of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy and amphetamines. Last year it was discovered that malware had been installed on computers of companies working in the port to allow criminals to trace containers used for smuggling drugs. 

BIN was signed by representatives of the Port Authority, police, customs and the mayors of the port area municipalities of Antwerp, Beveren and Zwijndrecht.

Photo courtesy of Port of Antwerp

New information network to improve Antwerp port security

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Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.
154

barges entering the port daily

900

companies in the greater port area

184

tonnes of freight handled in 2012