The day after the murder of a policeman and his wife near Paris, which the so-called “Islamic State” group has claimed responsibility for, every French police officer has been advised to take their service weapon home. “We are advising our men to do likewise,” Guido Van Wymersch, the Superintendent-Chief of Police of the Brussels City/Ixelles police zone, indicated on Wednesday in De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws. This followed a crisis meeting of the Brussels police, attended by some 2,000 armed officers.
Officers should, however, keep their ammunition in a separate locked cupboard. The Superintendent-Chief of Police also recommended that police officers to travel in civilian clothes rather than in uniform when returning home. “We have already been doing this following the foiled attacks in Verviers,” stated Van Wymersch.
As a rule, it is forbidden to keep a service weapon at home. “There is of course no obligation on officers,” he added. “The major advantage is that officers may also carry a weapon when for example, they go to the supermarket. If any incidents happen, they are then in a position to intervene.”