On Tuesday morning, Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer spoke to our colleagues from RTL Radio about the controversial dog biting incident.
"Everyone who saw that video was shocked, me included", Polfer said in her interview.
She added that she too did not like the fact that the security agent clearly did not have his dog under control and that the animal had somehow managed to take its muzzle off. However, Polfer also argued that it is just as important to know what had already happened before the start of the video.
Because of this context and because there were a lot of questions from journalists, the Municipality decided to hold a press conference, the Mayor explained, standing by her decision to do so while still acknowledging that officials should wait for the results of the investigation.
Polfer announced that how the municipal authorities will proceed will depend on the results of the investigation. For the time being, the contract with the security firm will remain valid until 1 November.
According to the Mayor, the case could be resolved much quicker, if there had been surveillance cameras installed at the scene of the incident. Polfer added that she is "not naïve" and "of course" aware that the four security guards are not the solution to the problem. She also assured that no one is questioning the fact that the police have the monopoly on the use of force.
It is now up to the investigation to reveal whether the employees of the security firm respected the regulations in place. According to Polfer, the victim who was bitten by the dog already stood out "hours before" to the security guards because of his very problematic behaviour. The Mayor also specified that the dog and the security guard who was handling it are currently not on patrol in Quartier de la Gare.
Lydie Polfer also called on Minister of Internal Security Henri Kox to organise a town hall meeting in the Gare neighbourhood before the end of the month. "I want the Minister to hear what the people are saying", Polfer stated, adding that if locals say that the security guards are not helping the situation, the Municipality will terminate the contract "immediately".
Polfer described the situation in Quartier de la Gare as "unacceptable". According to the Mayor, drug deals are taking place "in the middle of the street" and local residents feel unsafe. She then said that "over 40%" of all crimes in the country could be traced back to Quartier de la Gare – a statement which Minister of Internal Security Henri Kox has since described as false.
The Mayor recounted that she had been in the neighbourhood on Monday evening and saw "20-30 dealers" standing around while police cars were "driving past".
Regarding the "Abrigado" Centre for Drug Addicts, Polfer stated that there is an "agreement in principle" that the structure is to be delocalised. Officials are currently looking for a location.
When asked whether she would once again campaign as lead candidate for her party during the 2023 municipal elections, Polfer declined to comment, stating that "now is not the time". She will take the decision alongside her party "towards the end of 2022".