Local police services asked for access to images from the National Railway Company of Belgium’s camera 4,200 times last year, De Tijd reported on Friday. This is a marked increase on the year before.
Unlike the federal railway police, the local police do not have direct access to the railway company’s videos. The commission for the local Police is thought to be favourable to allowing access to these images in real-time. Last year, various police districts were obliged to request the images on 4,200 occasions, as against 3,440 in 2017.
Currently, in order to watch the videos live, the local police must go to a Railway Police Centre in Brussels and obtain the explicit support of an examining judge or a magistrate from the public prosecutor’s office, which is deemed to be a constraint.
The SNCB, for its part, emphasises that the images are monitored in its control rooms. “Suspicious activity is reported directly to the local police. In addition, urgent requests for their services are dealt with within 24 hours,” SNCB spokesman Dimitri Temmerman declared.