Justice minister announces zero tolerance for violence against police
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
A circular establishing zero tolerance and a fast-track procedure for violence committed against the police has been prepared in consultation with the public prosecutors and is ready, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne told Radio 1 on Tuesday.
In recent weeks, acts of violence against law enforcement agencies have been in the news and have given rise to much political commentary. As recently as Saturday, an officer was wounded after an intervention involving a man who wasn’t wearing a face mask.
Van Quickenborne had announced the circular last week. The circular provides for systematic prosecution in order to combat “impunity” (exemption from punishment) as soon as one day of incapacity to work is granted.
Prosecutions will follow a fast-track procedure. Van Quickenborne hopes that a judgement can be handed down within two months of the facts. In this way, not only will Belgium achieve zero tolerance, but it will also give offenders a taste of their own medicine, according to Van Quickenborne.
The circular only concerns the police, but the Minister intends to also address the case of violence against firefighters and other members of emergency services.