Yvan Mayeur, Mayor of Brussels City Council, announced on Monday in a communiqué that insults and “other unacceptable expressions of abuse”, against public office employees, will be subject to sanctions. The alteration to the general police regulation was approved by Brussels City Council, Mayeur stated.
The communiqué explains that, “Altering the regulations starts from the premise that Brussels City Council employees, whether reception staff from the Population Service (or) road sweepers from the Public Property Service, are all too often victims of abuse and insults in the course of their employment.”
Henceforth it is “prohibited to show a lack of respect or aggression of any kind (whether words, deeds, gestures, in written form, or other means) towards any individual authorised to uphold laws and regulations. [Such behaviour is also not tolerated] towards all municipal employees, acting in the course of their employment or owing to their capacity as a municipal employee.”
There will be an administrative fine for “showing a lack of respect or being aggressive” in this way.
Abuse as an offence is covered by the Criminal Code but “its application does pose a number of difficulties,” in particular because certain offences are considered minor and therefore not prosecuted.