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    Military assistance to police zones comes at a price

    © Belga
    Comité P's report indicates that the use of military reinforcements to assist with the terrorist threat has proven to be an extra financial cost for local police zones.
    © Belga

    The assistance which has been provided by the military to the police, for nearly two years, may amount more to a financial burden than a boost for local units. These are the conclusions of a Comité P report upon the ever worsening terrorist threat. The findings are taken up today (Thursday) in the L’Echo publications, as well as De Tijd, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and Het Belang van Limburg.

    Comité P questioned 17 police units; these were amongst those most affected by issues relating to radicalisation. It was found that the army reinforcements provided to help police the terrorist threat may, in particular, have cost local police units money.

    Comité P writes in the report, “The concept that military involvement in surveillance missions was going to release manpower for other missions seems to be deceptive.”

    Indeed, generally the surveillance onus has been upon the police, not the army. Yet this framework is, in fact, leading to additional financial costs for police zones.

    Comité P also stress in the report that local police zones “had not, strictly speaking, requested military assistance but additional police staff support.”

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times