Unions have asked Home Secretary Jan Jambon to cancel the police parade and village scheduled during the July 21st celebrations, in order to protect police forces from an “unnecessary risk” in view of the current and lasting terrorist threat, pointed out Stephane Deldicque, permanent representative from CSC Police, to Belga press agency on Wednesday. If not, police forces may decide to disrupt the festivities. “There has been a very real terrorist threat since January 7th, targetting policemen and women specifically,” stated the permanent representative. For these reason, unions called on their employer, the federal police, to analyse the risk. The report came out on Wednesday.
“The prevention adviser recommended the cancellation” of the parade and of the village and explained that if these events were to take place, “special measures would be needed.”
“We are currently holding discussions with all 4 unions and with our employer,” explained Mr. Deldicque. Unions regret they were only “informed of this report today,” and that “the decision not to cancel the parade and the village was apparently made before discussions even started.”
Mr. Deldicque also claims that local police forces have not been informed of the report, “and are thus going to send colleagues to Brussels on July 21st with no knowledge whatsoever of this report. This is not acceptable.”
“We have urged the Home Secretary to cancel the march and the setting up of a police village on Place Poelart out of pure common sense. Anyone can understand that police forces do not want to be exposed to such an unnecessary risk.”
A deadline was set for Friday, before protests aiming to disrupt the July 21st celebrations, explains Stephane Deldicque. If unions are not heard, they might indeed “revive a strike notice which is still valid.”
Secretary Jan Jambon announced via his spokesperson that he had yet to receive the unions’ official request, but that he would consider it and “is following the situation closely.”
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)