Anderlecht is a municipality located in the Brussels Capital Region of Belgium. As of January 1, 2021, it has a population of approximately 122,300 inhabitants, making it the second-most populous municipality in the Brussels region after the city of Brussels itself. Anderlecht is known for its football club, R.S.C. Anderlecht, and its historic architecture.
Like any large city, Anderlecht has its share of crime. According to statistics from the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police zone, crime rates in Anderlecht are generally in line with those of other municipalities in the region. However, it is important to note that certain areas within the municipality may be more prone to crime than others.
Historically, Anderlecht has had its share of high-profile crimes. One of the most notorious incidents occurred in 1986 when the Brabant Killers, a group of gunmen responsible for a series of robberies and murders in Belgium, attacked a Delhaize supermarket in Anderlecht, killing eight people and injuring many more. The case remains unsolved to this day.
In terms of dangerous areas to avoid, it is generally advised to exercise caution when visiting the area around the Brussels-Midi/Zuid train station, especially at night. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse-snatching is not uncommon in this area. Visitors are also advised to exercise caution when using public transportation, especially on crowded buses or trains.
As with any large city, there are certain times of day when it is safer to be out and about. Generally speaking, it is recommended to avoid walking alone at night, especially in areas that are poorly lit or unfamiliar. It is also advisable to be cautious during rush hour, when the streets and public transportation can be very crowded.
Other safety advice specific to Anderlecht includes being aware of your surroundings and avoiding any confrontations with strangers. It is also recommended to keep your valuables hidden and to avoid carrying large amounts of cash on your person. Additionally, visitors should be aware that certain parts of Anderlecht can be noisy due to heavy traffic or industrial activity.
Despite these safety concerns, Anderlecht has much to offer visitors. The municipality is home to several historic landmarks, including the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter and the Beguinage of Anderlecht, both of which date back to the Middle Ages. Anderlecht is also known for its lively marketplaces, including the Place de la Vaillance and the Place de la Duchesse.
While Anderlecht is a lively and vibrant municipality, visitors should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings when exploring the city. By taking simple precautions and staying alert, visitors can enjoy all that Anderlecht has to offer while staying safe and secure.