The present deficit in police resources of approximately 15% “does not allow taking on all operations.” The statement was made Monday by General Commissioner of the Federal Police, Catherine De Bolle, before the parliamentary commission investigating the Brussels attacks. The deficit in the operational framework will reach up to 24% in 2019, when all budget savings measures will have been realized, she added, referring also to investment deficits.
This implies that all units, and particularly those of judicial investigation, the Coast, the highway police, the intervention corps of the Federal Police, and the railroads, will no longer be considered of a priority nature, highlighted the Commissioner. She also mentioned that following the Paris attacks resources were redirected, through interdepartmental provision, for combatting terrorism.
And in her opinion, there is presently such a degree of tension between the fight against terrorism and the whole of other police operations, that the strain may have serious consequences. “It will have an impact on the national security plan,” warned Mrs. De Bolle, referring to a situation which may be “untenable”, “unmanageable”, generating “false expectations”, and “frustration”.
“Can we continue to weaken the judicial pillar?” asked the Commissioner, while Deputy Servais Verherstraeten showed concern regarding a message from the association of general prosecutors which referred to complaints of the King’s Prosecutor of Brussels and which urged the Federal Police to limit its resources for combatting terrorism down to 15% from the present level of 45%.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)