Contrary to the statement made by CSC Services Publics to Belga Press Agency, justice minister Koen Geens is not considering the possibility that the security service could replace striking prison guards, stated Koen Geens’s spokeswoman, Devine Dujardin, on Monday evening. The only option currently being considered by the minister is the transfer of the members of the security service to a special federal police unit. This option will be discussed by a special council of ministers on Tuesday, says Ms. Dujardin.
The security service is currently responsible for the transfer of detainees and for security within the courthouse. It falls under the jurisdiction of SPF Justice.
Although there has been mention of it being privatised, Koen Geens would prefer to see its members transferred to the federal police, according to his spokeswoman. “Such a move would be beneficial to the security service, improving clarity and centralising the chain of command.”
“This case is entirely separate from the dossier about our prisons”, she insists.
Stéphane Deldicque, CSC Services publics permanent secretary is however quick to point out, “The minister’s spokeswoman was not present at Friday’s meeting. And the minister most certainly did mention replacing striking prison guards as an example of tasks that could be allocated to the security service. I have no doubt that he was not speaking on behalf of the government but I do not see why we cannot debate all options.”
He also added that he was concerned that Koen Geens had never mentioned to police unions the possibility of transferring the members of the security service to the federal police.
Every police union met with the minister for the first time last Friday. Koen Geens is second minister-in-charge of the police, along with Home Secretary Jan Jambon.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)