Answering a request from Vilvoorde Alderman Hans Bonte (sp.a), the Home Office will send federal police officers to the city for surveillance duties. The request was turned down at first, but the mayor then invoked the law setting up an integrated police force to plead for more officers. This law is being invoked in Belgium for the first time.
Hans Bonte asked for federal officers after the threat level was raised to 3 (substantial) and after a study of security services in the Vilvorde/Machelen zone found there were not enough officers to cover necessary surveillance tasks. The alderman requested officers at Machelen station and at the asylum centre in particular, following threats from far-right movements.
Representatives from the Home Office guaranteed 24/7 surveillance would be in place as quickly as possible at the station and the asylum centre, at a meeting on Friday morning.