Belgium suffers severe police shortage, warns senior official

Belgium suffers severe police shortage, warns senior official
© Belga

The federal government plans to finance the recruitment of 800 police officers during the coming year.

This is still not enough, Chairman of the Local Police Permanent Committee Nico Paelinck warned on Monday, noting that 1,400 people leave the police every year.

According to the latest figures, there is already too little staff in the police. We are short 1,500 for the local and 2,000 for the federal. "This shortage is only getting worse," Paelinck told De Morgen, who is also Commanding Officer of the West Coast region of Belgium.

He denounced the insufficient budget for police recruitment in 2020. "There is money for 800 new employees. But every year, at least 1,400 of our colleagues either retire or change jobs. This means yet another 600 people less. Of course, this will have an impact on our functioning. This new deficit, in addition to the existing shortage, is a real threat to our security."

Paelinck stated that the consequences will be felt within a year and a half. "Many services are already virtually empty, and they will continue to diminish,” he warned.

The Chairman said the issue has been raised at the highest level. "But they hide behind a caretaker government."

The Brussels Times

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