Interior Minister Jan Jambon and the mayor of the City of Brussels Philippe Close agreed yesterday to improve the deployment of police in the capital. The Interior Minister also wants to focus more on neighborhood officers and technological means to improve the flow of information and the detection of risky events.
Jan Jambon (N-VA) and Philippe Close (PS) had agreed to meet after the violent incidents that took place on the 11th and 15th of November in the center of the capital and the release of the report of the General Inspectorate last week.
At the end of the meeting, they announced that ways to improve the recruitment of new police officers would be explored. Close spoke of the prospect of “innovative solutions” to enable faster hiring of police officers.
Jambon pointed out that recruitment itself was only one aspect of the question. The other one is the duration of training before the agent becomes operational (currently one year). A working group will be asked to address this issue.
Close said he would do everything to provide enough staff for next World Cup at which gatherings are expected in the center of the city, which he does not intend to ban.
The interior minister stressed the importance of intelligence to predict in advance any disturbances. The role of neighborhood officers should be strengthened. He also referred to the use of technology to scrutinize social media so as to be able to detect calls for riots.
The issue of merging police zones was not on the agenda. “People don’t need major reforms, they want concrete actions,” said Philippe Close.