Recruit agents in Brussels, involve citizens and equip the police properly

9 November 2020
Mathias Vanden Borre

In recent months, in its home affairs committee the Brussels Parliament has been looking at the relationship between the police and citizens. Brussels MP Mathias Vanden Borre has followed the work closely on behalf of the N-VA and is making several recommendations.

“The figures and recent events unmistakably show that our police and emergency services are under pressure in our capital. Without respect for the police and emergency services, we are on a slippery slope towards chaos. That is why I am making several concrete recommendations from the opposition. First of all, the collection and flow of information must improve. This task is explicitly assigned to Minister-President Vervoort (PS), and Brussels Prevention & Security (BPV/BPS) receives millions of euros in subsidies for it, but the statistics still show large gaps. Furthermore, Brussels must make greater use of local selection and recruitment, following Antwerp’s example. The figures and recent evaluation unmistakably show that major steps forward have been taken there.”

Much remains to be done by Rudi Vervoort

The daily operation of our police forces must be based on the concept of community policing. The police must be given the right tools, such as body cameras. Citizens need to be more closely involved, including through neighbourhood information networks, mediation teams and youth workers, in order to increase the sense of security in our neighbourhoods. The Brussels Region must work on an overarching regional diversity plan, drawn up by Brussels Prevention & Security. An emphasis on diversity must be integrated as a guiding principle in the organisation, at all levels and for all tasks. Also, the complaints management and handling service of the police zones must be centralised at the level of the region in order to improve transparency. Mathias Vanden Borre concludes: “There is much work to be done in Brussels. Despite the fact that he has had unique security powers since the sixth state reform, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (PS) has remained inactive for far too long. Blaming the police must come to an end and Politicians must finally take responsibility and take action.”

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