'Homeless' cold patrol in Belgium

'Homeless' cold patrol in Belgium
By Euronews
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Policemen Guido and Chris patrol the streets of Brussels at night helping the homeless


It's 7pm and policemen Guido and Chris are start their night patrolling in the streets of Brussels.

Outside the temperature is -5°C. This special police squad try to convince the homeless to go to a shelter for the night.

With some of the homeless, it's a question of persuading them what is best.

"We use a bit of psychology,"says Chris Van de Haute, inspector at the Herscham police squad. "We tried to negociate for 5 to 10 minutes, but no more. But if someone really is in danger, then I try to insist more."

Every night, they manage to put five to 10 people somewhere safe. They never use force, except when a child's life is at stake.

"The kids are obliged to follow their parents and sleep outside in the cold but they have not chosen to do so," says Guido Geeraerts, inspector at the Herscham police squad

They've been patrolling for 8 years and they have become friends with some of the homeless.

1 out of 2 people accept the help of the squad. When this happens, the inspectors call social services to find a shelter for the night.

But even then, their work is not over.  Chris and Guido are going to keep on patrolling for the whole night.

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