A first for Breda: during the upcoming carnival, a number of Belgian agents will be walking around there. The southern neighbors are increasingly crossing the border for a party, so some extra supervision can do no harm, the police think. “It’s about recognition.”

    There will be four agents in total. “From the unit in Turnhout,” explains a police spokesman. “On two carnival evenings, there are two police officers walking around.”

    No numbers that make the difference when the chaos breaks out. But that is not the point, according to the spokesperson. “It is purely for recognition. And so that carnival celebrants from Belgium can turn to them with questions.”

    It is precisely the latter that seems increasingly important, now that Breda is becoming increasingly popular with the Flemish. “We see a large increase in the number of visitors from Belgium. Think bachelor parties. And even with carnival, there are several hundred partygoers.”

    Then it can’t hurt if someone with a recognizable uniform keeps an extra eye on things. “In Breda’s nightlife, we deliberately address larger groups at an early stage. Just to indicate our limits. This is especially important during Carnival. Our Belgian colleagues can also support us in this.”

    Incidentally, it does not seem that the same strategy is also being applied in other municipalities in Brabant. “If you drive into our country from Antwerp, Breda is the first big city you encounter.”

    Although close cooperation is high on the list, says the spokesperson. “We just want to improve that. We also regularly help in Belgium.” Last summer, for example, Dutch agents went to Knokke in Flanders, when young people from our country caused unrest there.