National protest march: Alderman and police appeal to Home Office to consider preventive arrests
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
A debriefing meeting on the national protest march was held on Monday afternoon between administrative authorities and police supervisors responsible for the Brussels-Ixelles area. Several charges have been filed over the past few days. As a result, City of Brussels alderman Yvan Mayeur emphasizes that “no alderman is ever in the field to supervise police officers”. It would be totally illegal and also undermine our democratic values.
The Police Management Board denies that their intervention was late. When they were called to come to Avenue Fonsny, they were near Porte de Hal to keep watch over the MR headquarters. So, they had to drive the wrong way down to get there. It must have been only a matter of minutes before they arrived on the scene”.
The alderman and chief superintendent, Guido Van Wymersch, the commanding officer responsible for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone, are calling on the Home Secretary and the competent administrative authorities to consider proactively placing any clearly identified troublemaker under administrative arrest beforehand to avoid such excesses in the future.
They also asked for the tools and the equipment used in policing management to be analysed. If this investigation reveals any flaws, they promise that they will be dealt with promptly. They are already considering improving protective equipment. They condemn the excesses committed on the sidelines of the demonstration and expresstheir great respect for the 112 police officers who were injured, who are to receivea joint letter thanking them for their commitment. Insurance companies have been contacted to activate their coverage and defend their rights.
A legal think tank has been specially set up to collect information on the identification of troublemakers. It will thus allow court records to be set up faster. In-house meetings will continue with the aim of drawing conclusions on how the national demonstration should be managed and consider what improvements should be made. The alderman will meet with police unions next week to discuss the overall management of the police service.